Follow these suggestions to protect your pipes during freezing weather:
Before Onset of Freezing Weather
- Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Cover outdoor faucets with a Styrofoam cap or faucet sock.
- Check water supply lines in unheated areas such as a crawl space, attic or garage. Water pipes in these areas should be insulated. If you find exposed water pipes, consider installing a foam pipe sleeve for insulation.
During Freezing Weather
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
- Let cold water drip from a faucet that is served by exposed pipes.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
To Thaw Frozen Pipes
- If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes are exterior walls, or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
- Keep the faucet open. As the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area.
- Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
- Apply heat until full water pressure is restored.
- If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or the pipe has burst, you should call a licensed plumber.