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What To Do If Your Furnace Isn't Working Because Of A Frozen Line

by Harry Martin

If your furnace has stopped blowing warm air and a frozen condensate line is to blame, you can thaw it out with a few, simple steps. Once the problem is corrected, you can take further precautions so that the problem doesn't occur again.

Use These Items

  • hot water
  • large pot
  • bucket
  • towel
  • thermal insulation
  • thermal tape
  • scissors
  • utility knife
  • measuring tape
  • portable heat lamp
  • silicone sealer
  • caulking gun

Thaw Out The Line

Turn off your furnace and the breaker switch while you are thawing out the line. Inspect the condensate line to determine where it is frozen; the surface may appear to be frosty and will be cold to the touch. Heat up water in a large pot and pour it onto the line in several sections. Place a bucket under the line to collect the spilled water. Dry off the line with a towel. 

Insulate The Line

Add thermal insulation to the line. This will help it thaw out faster and will protect it from becoming frozen in the future. Measure the length of the condensate line and cut a piece of insulation that is the same size. Wrap the insulation around the pipe and seal the edges with thermal tape. Cover any pieces that are overlapping with a utility knife.

Place a portable heat lamp under the line to help speed up the thawing process. This type of lamp is safe to use for extended amounts of time. Once the line is no longer frozen, turn the breaker switch on and adjust your furnace to a comfortable setting.

Take Extra Steps

If there are any cracks next to the line, in the area where it leads out of your home, fill them with silicone sealer. This product can be inserted into a caulking gun to make it easy to apply. Cut off the tip of the silicone tube and insert it into the gun. Press the trigger and apply a thin, even line that covers the gaps. The sealer will be waterproof and shrink-resistant once it dries. This may take a few hours.

In the future, if the temperature is predicted to fall below freezing, turn the heat lamp on and have it aiming towards the line. This will help keep the line warm and prevent it from freezing. By taking all of these steps, you won't have to worry about your furnace malfunctioning and your home will stay warm and comfortable. If the issue seems to be more advanced, contact a professional HVAC contractor, such as Best Way Heating Inc, to help repair your furnace.