We live in a town full of old houses which are full of old pipes. We live in one of those old houses and we tend to those old pipes.
The kitchen in our home is situated over the garage. The pipes in question travel through the garage and it is on that trip that they freeze. So far this winter, we've only had a minor freezing of the pipes. Minor, in that, we were able to thaw things pretty quickly using a complicated and highly technical combination of space heaters, hair dryers, and a tea pot full of boiling water. The only hitch in our giddyup has been the dishwasher.
There is a smallish black "bendable" plastic pipe which runs from the dishwasher to the garbage disposal. It runs along the outside wall of the kitchen beneath the sink and IT FREEZES! I learned last time around, that it takes more than a space heater to release it from winter's icy grip. It takes begging, pleading, crying, a teapot full of boiling water, and a good bit of jiggling (of the pipe, of course).
Why all of the concern over a teensy black pipe?
Well, when that pipe is frozen, the dishwasher will not work. When the dishwasher will not work...I must.
I turned down all offered help (had to flex my superhero credentials), donned my yellow rubber gloves and commenced scrubbing. . . and begging and pleading and bargaining. Finally, sometime the next morning, the sun came out and the dishwasher reported for duty, but not until I'd accomplished this...
...the old fashioned way.