How To Thaw The Pipes In Your Home Properly - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

How To Thaw The Pipes In Your Home Properly

Posted: Updated:

KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Two days ago a family lost their home in Burbank, while trying to thaw the pipes with a heater.

Richland fire fighters say it's a common call during with this type of weather.

"We've already had one call this year, and it was using an open flame under the house, a propane heater and that started some of the insulation on fire, melted it," said Kurt Hubele, Richland Fire Marshall.

So what's the right way to do it? Richland firefighters say to never use an open flame.

"We recommend putting a towel around it and pouring hot water on the section that's frozen, or using a hair dryer if that's safe to do," said Hubele.

Tim Cray, the owner of Cray Plumbing, says even with a hair dryer you have to be careful.

"You have to use some common sense though, hair dryers use electricity and if here's any moisture in the crawl space then you run the risk of getting shocked, which is no fun," said Cray.

Firefighters say using a heater is not a bad idea, as long as you are being safe.

"If you're there and you can watch it, and you're keeping it three feet from combustibles, it should be fine, don't put it under you house and walk away, or leave it there all winter, that's asking for trouble," said Hubele.