Tips For Thawing A Frozen Pipe After Devastating Fire Monday

Updated: 01/07/2014 5:43 PM
Created: 01/07/2014 5:28 PM
By: Laurie Stribling

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.

Front Page

  • Missing Employee Found at Soudan Underground Mine State Park

    Authorities have located 76-year-old Adrienne De Vries at the Soudan Underground Mine State Park. De Vries is an employee of the park, and lost her way when walking down a trail. The St. Louis County Sheriff's Department says she was transported to Ely Hospital to get checked as a precautionary.

  • Sky High: Northlanders Blast Off on New Flyboard

    Here in the Northland, we're used to lakes, but a new toy is changing how we enjoy the water. The flyboard is making its Twin Ports debut. It's a water jet pack on a board that is hooked up to a jet ski. The water launches you up to 55 feet in the air.

  • One Killed in Douglas County Two-Vehicle Crash

    A two-vehicle collision in Douglas County turned fatal Wednesday afternoon. Law enforcement on the scene confirmed with Eyewitness News that at least one person was killed.

  • Democrats Vying for Wisconsin's 25th Senate District Talk Mining

    Mining is a top issue in northern Wisconsin's legislative races, and a formal debate Wednesday night was no exception. Three democrats vying for the 25th Senate District seat explained their views during a public debate at the Great Lakes Visitor Center in Ashland.

  • Scannell Testifies in His Own Criminal Sexual Misconduct Trial

    Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell took the witness stand today for what was an emotional testimony from the man charged with two accounts of 4th degree criminal sexual misconduct for a relationship he allegedly had with a 17-year old girl in August 2012.