Frozen pipes can be an inconvenience or small disaster. Below-freezing temperatures can easily reach into any structure, causing potentially costly problems or repairs, especially if the pipes crack. The extreme temperature change is usually conducted through metal pipes more easily than plastic, but plastic is more susceptible to cracking or breaking if the freeze goes unchecked. The preventive use of insulation, where possible, can greatly reduce damage and cost.
Frozen pipes repair costs
The money spent on repairing frozen pipes will vary depending on materials and the ease of reaching the problematic spot. The average costs for pipe repair for the DIY home or business owner can run between $50-$250, but would require a bit of plumbing knowledge specific to the type of pipes in use. If needed, calling in a plumber would run substantially higher, with average costs starting at $300-$500.
Unthawing frozen pipes costs
It is possible to unthaw a frozen pipe as a DIY job, depending on the type of equipment used. However, if the pipe is cracked, it is best to call in a professional immediately before further damage occurs. With metal pipes, a small heater can be placed near the block to slowly warm the frozen area and get water flowing again. It is even possible to use a small propane torch for localized heating, but be very careful using an open flame to unthaw near pipe joints or insulation! For plastic piping, a pipe warming coil is best. These offer gentle heat that will not damage the plastic and are commonly available and can be used on metal as well. If there is ever a doubt, call on a professional to save both time and money.