Preventing & Thawing Frozen Plumbing

With freezing temperatures, it is important to know the proper steps to prevent freezing plumbing lines, and steps to thaw potentially frozen lines. Of course, if you notice any signs of potentially frozen lines, water leaking, or damage, please call us right away.

How to Prevent Frozen Lines

  • Make sure all exterior hoses are completely disconnected from the hose bibs/faucets.
  • 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. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • Open all interior man doors to help circulate warm airflow throughout the house and prevent cold temperatures in one room.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet. Running water through the lines, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing. Just be sure not to leave it unattended for too long and create a water overflow.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 60° F.

How to Thaw Frozen Lines

  • If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
  • Keep the faucet completely open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area and out of the faucet. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or any 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 if you can not thaw the pipe, contact us.
  • Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze too.
  • If a plumbing line seems completely frozen and no water is coming out, please let us know immediately to prevent further damage.