The pipes for our washer have frozen. I believe they froze in the section that runs through the wall facing an enclosed, uninsulated porch. I currently have the heat cranked in the laundry room and have a space heater running facing the wall on the porch where the pipes run. Is there anything else we can do?

  • Did you ever find a good solution to this problem? My contractor suggested using heat tape around the trap of the washing machine's drain pipe (which is in an insulated exterior wall). But I'm a bit leary of putting an electric heating element inside the wall, seems like it could be a fire hazard if we forgot to turn it off. I'm surprised more people don't have this problem, with washers on exterior walls. Also, I don't understand how this ever worked in my house, it's not like winters in the past were less cold. It seems like this would have always been broken.
    – ZombieDev
    Jan 23 '17 at 19:16

I literally just got done dealing with some pipe that burst after it froze not 10 minutes ago. My first suggestion would be, after it thaws, make absolutely sure it didn't rupture anywhere. Even a tiny trickle can turn into black mold problems down the road.

If you're using the type we used to use up in Canada when we lived there that's made to allow the expansion/contraction of freezing and you're less worried about rupture, what we used to do to avoid having to open up the wall was cut a small area you can easily place one of those cheap small vents into in your wall so it still looks nice. Then we'd either throw a space heater at it. Or we would go get those hand warmer heat packs that cost about a dollar a piece that when you rub them together they activate and produce good heat for multiple hours and lay them over the pipe to speed it up (ALSO to prevent them from freezing on the really cold nights.) Something like these: enter image description here


Cut a circular hole in the wall, and stick a hairdryer in there. Run it on the low setting.

Patch the hole in the spring.

*WARNING* -- Do not leave unattended.

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