Things You'll Need
Electric heat tape
Power outlet (GFCI)
Use GFCI grounded outlets when working with electric equipment outside and around water.
A frozen water hose can be a nuisance. Water trapped in a hose will freeze if the temperature dips low enough, leaving your water line with a ice cold clog trapped in the middle. Unfreezing a water hose, however, isn't difficult. You can use the same methods for unfreezing water pipes with hoses, you just need to exercise caution because the higher temperatures used on metal pipes can sometimes melt the rubber in a water hose.
Turn off the water supply for the hose you will be unfreezing. If this is a garden hose outside, for example, turn off the faucet bib where the hose is attached by rotating the knob clockwise.
Determine the portion of the water hose that is frozen. Squeeze the hose until you feel part of the line that doesn't bend back and feels cold to the touch. This is the frozen part of the hose.
Use a hair dryer to thaw out the hose. Plug the hair dryer into a nearby outlet or run an extension cord for power. Start on the low setting. Hold the hair dryer about 2-3 inches away from the hose. Move the dryer back and forth across the frozen hose. Move up and down the hose as you work.
Wrap the hose with electric pipe heat tape. This is, as the name implies, tape that you wrap clockwise around the hose. After wrapping the frozen hose, plug the tape into a nearby outlet or run an extension cord.
Detach the frozen hose, if possible, and move it to a warmer location. Allow it to thaw there. This works best on smaller hoses, such as a frozen washing machine supply hose. You can place the hose in a laundry tub or sink as it unthaws.
Nathan McGinty started writing in 1995. He has a Bachelor of Science in communications from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in international journalism from City University, London. He has worked in the technology industry for more than 20 years, in positions ranging from tech support to marketing.