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ITHACA, N.Y. — Temperatures have been frigid lately and do not look like they are changing soon. In case of frozen pipes, the Ithaca Fire Department has shared some advice on how to thaw them.

Frozen pipes can be a real concern when temperatures dip. Lately, temperatures have been well below freezing and are expected to get even lower. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures will be around 20 degrees Wednesday and Thursday and down to 3 degrees Friday and Saturday with lows in the negatives.

If your pipes are frozen, a hairdryer is the safest way to thaw it, the IFD says. Using a flame or torch is not recommended.

“Homeowners who experience a frozen pipe can try to thaw the line safely by using a hair dryer. Thawing won’t be fast, but it will be safe. Set your hairdryer to high heat and blast away, holding the dryer a few inches from the pipe until your water returns. Pipes conduct heat extremely well, so even if the freeze is behind a wall, you can usually thaw it out. Just note that this can take 30-45 minutes (sometimes more) to work,” the Ithaca Fire Department said in a news release.

The Ithaca Fire Department adds not to leave thawing pipes unattended and if in doubt, call a plumber or heating contractor to safely thaw the line and make necessary repairs.

A good way to prevent frozen pipes is to let water drip from faucets and if going away, to leave the thermostat at no lower than 55 degrees. For more tips about frozen pipes, visit the American Red Cross.

Featured image by Scott Akerman/Flickr.

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.