How To Flush Toilet When Pipes Are Frozen

It happens every winter

— I wake up to snow and ice-covered yard but miraculously have no idea how my toilet managed to survive the brutal and sub-freezing temperatures.

If you’ve also been in this situation, you no longer have to worry about it. Here’s a simple trick you can use the next time your pipes freeze to “flush” out the problem.

In winter, many people want to know how to flush the toilet when pipes are frozen. But wait! Can you really flush your toilet when pipes are frozen?

Is it safe to do that? Before telling you how to deal with frozen pipes, let me clear this issue as it’s essential to know if you can flush the toilet when pipes are frozen. 

If you are looking to flush your toilet when pipes are frozen. In that case, unfortunately, you are not getting the answer cause flushing toilet when pipes are frozen quite dangerous and highly not recommended by expert plumbers. Instead of flushing, the better way is first to thaw the frozen pipe.

Can You Flush Toilet When Pipes Are Frozen?

How To Flush Toilet When Pipes Are Frozen

As a professional plumber, a lot of people asked me if they could flush a toilet when the pipes are frozen or not. That question is pretty easy to answer, but I like to give an in-depth answer to this question. 

As people think it’s not a big deal to flush a toilet when pipes are frozen, the situation can become worse and more dangerous. In short, it depends on how severe the freeze is and where you live.

If your pipes are just a little bit frozen, then yes, you can flush your toilet. If you’re in a house with an older heating system and your pipes haven’t been replaced recently, then there’s a good chance they’re going to freeze anyway.

The water in those pipes will be cold enough to cause them to freeze, even if it’s just mildly cold outside.

By the way, you should know how much water to flush a toilet

so you can use minimal of it to save on bills and avoid freezing of water in pipes.

If your pipes have been frozen for a long time or are old, then I will say a big no—you shouldn’t try flushing them because there could be cracks or holes in them that would rupture and leak water all over the place.

If this happens while the pipe is still frozen, then it will be much harder to fix than if it happened when it was thawed out again.

According to my experience, It also depends on your pipe material, the temperature outside, and how long you expect your pipes will be frozen.

Pipes made from copper, iron, and steel are less likely to freeze than plastic pipes. Also, thicker pipes are more likely to remain unfrozen than thin ones.

But even if your pipes don’t freeze, they can still be damaged by freezing temperatures—which makes flushing a problem.

Also Read Related Articles:

How to Flush a Clogged Toilet

How to Flush Toilet Without Plunger

Signs Of Frozen Pipes

How To Flush Toilet When Pipes Are Frozen

Now the main question that arises in mind is how we come to know whether our toilet’s pipes are frozen or not.

So for this, here I am mentioning some most common signs of frozen pipes. That will help you to know if your pipes are frozen exactly.

  • Your first indication that your pipes are frozen may be a drop in water pressure or a lack of water. If this happens, check the faucets and make sure they’re on correctly (or turn them off). If everything seems to work as it should check around for any signs of frost or ice buildup.
  • If your water is running cool, it could mean a problem with the pipes in your home. While it’s not uncommon for the temperature of your water to fluctuate slightly if you notice that it’s consistently colder than usual or if the temperature seems to be dropping over time, you’ll want to have a plumber look at your pipes as soon as possible.
  • You hear strange sounds from your plumbing system, such as gurgling or popping noises. If this happens, it’s probably because the water in your pipes has frozen and expanded, causing the pipe walls to crack.
  • If your toilet isn’t flushing correctly anymore—or at all! This can also be an indication that your pipes have frozen and need thawing out before they become completely clogged with ice and unable to function normally again until you give them some time to thaw out naturally or use special tools like heaters or deicers that help unblock these kinds of problems quickly (but still safely).

5 Ways To Thaw Frozen Toilet Pipes

How To Flush Toilet When Pipes Are Frozen

We all know that cold and snow can cause plumbing problems in our homes. However, if you’re experiencing issues with your toilet freezing up, you must learn to thaw it out as quickly as possible. 

Accordingly you don’t damage any additional equipment in your home. So yes, now I will teach you five

different ways to thaw frozen toilet pipes that you can use at home without spending extra money on a plumber or other professional services. So let’s get started.

1. Use a Hair Dryer To Thaw Out The Pipes

A hairdryer is one of the most effective ways to thaw frozen toilet pipes. The heat from the hairdryer will cause the ice in your pipes to melt, which will allow water to flow freely again. 

However, this method is only recommended if you have a strong hair dryer and can hold it for several minutes without getting burned. If you do not have access to a hair dryer or would prefer not to use one, other options are available.

2. Use a Hot Water Bottle On The Frozen Pipe To Warm It Up

Another easy way to fix this problem is to use a hot water bottle on your frozen pipe.

Just take a hot water bottle (or two), fill it with boiling water from your faucet, wrap it tightly in a towel, so it doesn’t leak everywhere when you set it down on top of the frozen pipe.

Then place it against the pipe as close as possible without burning yourself while they both cool down together.

3. Turn On A Space Heater

A space heater is a good solution if you don’t have a gas or electric water heater. Just ensure you’re keeping an eye on it so it doesn’t overheat and start a fire. Turning on your thermostat and leaving it at 55 degrees Fahrenheit for 24 hours is better.

If you don’t have one, try lighting a candle or two and placing them near the pipe area. This should take care of things pretty quickly.

4. Turn On The Faucets

This is another good way to thaw out a frozen toilet pipe because it will add water and warmth to the area.

This can help melt away any ice that may have formed on your pipes or in your toilet bowl, which will help prevent further damage from occurring.

5. Wrap With Electrical Heat Tape

The easiest way to thaw your frozen toilet pipe is to wrap it in electrical heat tape.

The tape transfers heat from the pipe’s outside to the inner core. This will help to thaw out the frozen section of pipe quickly and easily, and it won’t damage your pipes.

Also, Read:
How Does a Flush Valve Work

How Do Automatic Flush Toilets Work

How Does The Inside Of The Toilet Work

Ways To Keep Toilet Pipes from Freezing

If your toilet pipes constantly freeze, you must take a few steps to ensure they don’t burst.

Here I am sharing some tips to keep your toilet pipes from freezing which I learned from a nice lady (probably can say a Grandma) when I was in Iceland.

  • Use a de-icer or antifreeze solution in the toilet tank. You can also buy a “Toilet Plumber” that you put in the tank to prevent it from freezing.
  • Run the water through the pipes for about 15 seconds before using it, especially if it’s cold outside. This will help prevent the pipes from freezing.
  • If you have an exposed pipe coming out of your house and it’s exposed to the elements, cover it with foam insulation or heat tape to help prevent it from freezing up!
  • If your toilet has a metal flapper valve, consider replacing it with one made of plastic or rubber because they’re less likely to freeze than metal ones.
  • If you notice water leaking out of your indoor faucets, get it fixed as soon as possible. You don’t want this problem to get worse and end up causing damage throughout the house.
  • Keep the toilet lid down. This keeps the heat in the bowl and helps keep it warm enough that it won’t freeze.
  • Use a space heater on the floor near where you expect your pipes to freeze first (usually near an outside wall or window), then turn it off once you notice that they’re thawed out again.


In the end, maybe now you get the answer to your question about how to flush the toilet when Pipes are frozen. Also, I hope the above-mentioned thawing tips have helped you to thaw your frozen toilets.


How long do pipes take to unfreeze?

In general, however, you should be prepared to wait at least 30 to 60 minutes for your pipes to thaw out.

Will pipes naturally unfreeze?

Frozen pipes can eventually unfreeze naturally – but it’s not a quick or reliable solution.

How long will a pipe stay frozen?

If your pipes are well-insulated, they can resist freezing for up to 4 hours at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

Leave a Comment