How To Thaw A Frozen Outdoor Faucet

How To Thaw A Frozen Outdoor Faucet

If you have an outdoor faucet, you can avoid spending money on burst pipes that could result from freezing temperatures. You can also thaw your faucets if it ever gets frozen. Frozen pipes inside or outside of the home can ultimately burst and cause water damage to the home.

So, how to thaw a frozen outdoor faucet? You will need to gather supplies like a heating pad and hairdryer and use these heating processes to unfreeze the outdoor faucet and encourage water flow.

Below, you will learn exactly how to thaw a frozen outdoor faucet in four easy steps.

Process For Thawing A Frozen Outdoor Faucet

Thawing a frozen outdoor faucet involves wrapping the frozen segment with a heating pad, heating the frozen part with hot water or a hairdryer, and allowing the melting water to flow out of the outlet until the pipe is clear.

Note that the thawing process involves heat, so be careful not to perform the procedure anywhere near combustible materials or an open flame to prevent fire emergencies. Also, wear safety materials if available to avoid burns.

Here is how to thaw a frozen outdoor faucet:

Step 1: Open up the faucet

Start by opening the faucet. This will allow water to flow out when the system thaws.

Step 2: Wrap the faucet

After opening up the faucet, wrap it tightly with warm pieces of cloth, such as heating pads or towels.

Be mindful not to cover the faucet outlet so that you do not prevent the outflow of water. Make sure to cover the entire handle and frozen pipe as well.

Step 3: Apply heat to the wrapped area

Next, boil water in a fairly large pot or kettle. Use the hot water to melt the frozen parts by pouring it over the wrapped materials of the faucet and exposed pipe until completely soaked. You may need to repeat this process a couple of times.

Alternatively, you can use a hairdryer or heat lamp to heat the frozen faucet. You need an outdoor electrical outlet for this method to work.

If you opt to use a hairdryer, wrap the outside faucet with heat tape instead of towels and other pieces of cloth. Plug the hairdryer into your outdoor outlet and blow hot air onto the entire taped area.

Step 4: Wait until the water starts running

The heating process melts the frozen water, allowing the water to begin flowing. This is why you must be sure the outlet remains open. Once the water flows for some minutes, turn off the outside faucet and repeat the process. After some time, the water will run through the entire frozen area, and any blockage is cleared.

Once this is done, consider taking steps to prevent a reoccurrence.

Preventing Faucets From Freezing

Thaw a Frozen Outdoor Faucet
Source: Pavel Mikoska

An ounce of prevention, they say, is worth a pound of cure. Preventing your outdoor faucets and pipes from freezing is a lot cheaper because frozen faucets can cause serious problems for the pipes and your entire plumbing system.

Keep in mind that if the pipes or faucets do burst from freezing temperatures, you will need professionals to replace them immediately. Replacing cracked pipes is best left for professional plumbers, which will cost you some hard-earned cash.

The good news is that you can prevent your outdoor (and indoor!) faucets from freezing. Since the only time your pipes can freeze up is when temperatures drop. Thankfully, you can tell when the temperatures are about to drop and take preventive measures.

Once you are certain that a drop in temperature is imminent, you can use a pipe insulation cover to protect all the outdoor water supply lines; this shields the entire system from freezing conditions.

Insulation may seem like an expensive option or may even be time-consuming. Still, it is certainly better than spending money on water pipe replacement if they become damaged by freezing weather.

Here are some other steps you can take to prevent a frozen faucet:

  • Close all valves connected to your outdoor faucets. Also, make sure to drain the pipes completely
  • You can also use thick clothing to wrap the pipes and spigots to serve as insulation against the impending freezing temperatures
  • When the temperature drops to freezing levels, try to allow water to flow slightly, preferably in little drips. Allowing this to go on around the clock will likely save you the hassles of thawing a frozen outdoor faucet because there is a constant flow of water
  • Keeping your heating system on continuously also helps prevent the freezing of outdoor faucets. This way, the plumbing systems continue flowing
  • You can also seal up all outlets that may contribute to increasing the chances of frozen pipes
  • Leave doors close to exterior pipes open once in a while to supply some warmth to the outdoor water pipe.


You now know how to prevent it when you are confronted with freezing weather and run the risk of having frozen faucets. If your outdoor faucet is already frozen, you now know how to thaw it out and prevent further damage to the home.