Frozen Water Drain Pipe Repair

A water pipe.
  • 1-3 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20-100
What You'll Need
Foaming insulation

A frozen water drain pipe could obstruct the flow of water. The frozen water in the blocked area will eventually make the pipes crack. To avoid this problem, try fixing the frozen water drain pipes by following the instructions below.

Step 1 - Locate the Problem Area

Examine your pipes for blocks. Pipes in the basement or those exposed to the outside weather have high chances of getting blocked.

Step 2 – Access the Water Drain Pipe

Access the pipes under the sink. In between the bottom of the sink and the drain line rests the nut that holds them together. With the help of pliers loosen the nut. After removing this nut, the other pipes can be easily undone.

Step 3 - Measure the Intensity

Follow the drainpipe to the spot where it is located outside the house.

Step 4 - Decide the Melting Equipment

You can opt from a variety of tools to melt the ice formation on the pipes. Professional equipment like a propane torch, heat gun or heating pad are highly efficient. But while using them you need to be extremely careful as it could lead to a hole in the pipe if you overuse them. The safest bet would be to use a hairdryer.

Step 5 - Use a Hair Dryer

Plug the hairdryer into an electric outlet. Hold it one foot away from the pipe. Turn it on and start blowing over the pipe.

Step 6 - Check the Pipe

The hot air from the hairdryer will melt the ice formed on the pipes. Once you see the water dripping, let the ice melt on its own. This might take some time but it is safer.

Step 7 – Work on the Opening

Place a container or a bucket under the faucet that you have opened earlier. The ice will melt and the water will fall into this bucket. It might take well over an hour for the ice to melt completely. If you still face any blocks in the water drain then continue with the heating process.

Step 8 - Close the Drain

Close your water drain pipe after all the water has been drained. Tighten the grip of the nut and double-check to assure it is holding the pipe securely.

Step 9 - Add Foam Insulation

After melting the ice from your water drainpipe, make sure to insulate it with foam. This will prevent it from freezing and causing the same problem all over again.

While installing the foam insulation make sure to place it 12 inches or more below the visible frost line. This is the line in the ground where the freezing takes place.


Even though you are using low-risk equipment, the hairdryer shell has a tendency to heat up. You should wear gloves to protect yourself.