How to Thaw a Frozen Heat Pump

Heat pumps freeze in cold weather, especially if you live in an area with cold, snowy winters. Light frost on the pump is normal, but if the system becomes encased in ice, there may be something wrong with your heat pump's defrost setting. If the unit is full of ice, you need to fix these settings or hire a professional. You must thaw the pump immediately to prevent the pipes from bursting.

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Frozen pipes may burst.

Step 1

Turn up the heat in your home. This allows heat to enter the area where the pipes are frozen, helping thaw them.

Step 2

Turn on affected faucets. Open closet and cabinet doors to allow heat to enter areas with frozen pipes. In unheated areas, use a space heater. These measures will prevent the hot water supply from freezing.

Step 3

Blow hot air onto the frozen pipes and heat pump using a hair dryer. Aim the dryer at the pipes. Wait for the ice to melt.

Step 4

Call a plumber if your pipes are copper, brass or galvanized steel. Make sure the plumber uses an electric pipe-thawing machine -- not a torch -- on the pipes.


Michelle Labbe

Michelle Labbe has been writing online and for print since 2004. Her work has appeared in the online journals Reflection's Edge and Cabinet des Fées as well as in Harvard Book Store's anthology, "Michrochondria." She is pursuing a Master of Arts in publishing and writing at Emerson College.