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Tips For Thawing A Frozen Pipe After Devastating Fire Monday

Updated: 01/07/2014 5:43 PM
Created: 01/07/2014 5:28 PM WDIO.com
By: Laurie Stribling
lstribling@wdio.com

A frozen pipe is just one of many headaches caused by these bitter cold temperatures. Heating and Air technicians say there are several ways you can safely solve the problem.

"This is the pipe-thawing machine," Andy Kirkman, with Randall Brothers in Cloquet, said. "It runs a DC volt power supply through the piping. It works real well. It's safe."

While it can be costly to call a professional, doing it yourself can be risky.

A home in Brevator Township, just west of Duluth, went up in flames Monday night. Deputies said it started because a family member tried to thaw a pipe.

George Brewer lives next door and said his 89-year-old grandfather lived at the home. He'd been there almost 60 years and one accident destroyed everything.

Brewer said a heat gun was used to defrost the pipe.

Kirkman said that's a better option than a blow torch, but can still be dangerous.

"The temperatures that exit are very hot," Kirkman said.

Kirkman said other alternatives include using a blow dryer or calling in a professional for a pipe-thawing machine.

"There's plenty of providers that will give you a hand so this doesn't happen," Firefighter Al Lund said.

There's also ways you can help prevent frozen pipes all together.

Kirkman said maintaining temperature and air flow in your home will help. You can also open up cabinets and cupboards to help heat the walls.

Wrapping your pipes with heat tape won't hurt. Kirkman said you can also keep your home a few degrees warmer than usual to help prevent frozen pipes.

Kirkman said he's been dealing with about six cases of frozen pipes a day since the bitter cold hit.

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