Preventing Frozen Pipes

Here are some tips to help you do everything possible to prevent your pipes from freezing this season.

How to determine if you have a frozen pipe:

  • Turn on each water supply faucet (both hot and cold) to ensure that there is a steady stream of water. 
  • If the flow of water is slowed or there is no flow, then it is likely that your pipe has frozen. 

What to do if you have a frozen pipe:

  • Identify the blockage (probably the area of most exposure) and use a blow dryer (do NOT use an open flame torch!) to heat the supply line, while leaving the faucet open. 
  • Continue heating the pipe until there is a steady flow of water.

Tips for keeping your pipes from freezing:

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Insulate all accessible pipes using pipe insulation (this can be found at your local hardware store).

 

Before it gets too cold, seal all cracks, holes, and other openings on the exterior walls with caulk or insulation.

 

If the temperature drops lower than usual and you have pipes in cabinets or closets, leave the cabinet/closet doors open or use a fan to increase warm air circulation around the pipes.

 

Pay close attention to local weather reports and prepare for extreme cold weather.

When extreme cold weather is predicted, let all faucets drip to prevent freezing of the water inside the pipe, and if freezing does occur, to relieve pressure buildup in the pipes between the ice blockage and the faucet. The pressure buildup is the actual cause of bursting pipes.

 

Shut off the water supply during periods when the home may be unoccupied, particularly when cold weather is expected.

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