Frozen Pipe Precautions

“Old Man Winter” has arrived and he doesn’t appear to be taking a vacation anytime soon. When temperatures are consistently below freezing, the risk of frozen pipes increases significantly. Frozen pipes can cause problems due to the potential of bursting, resulting in damage and possible flooding. Here are some tips that will help reduce the risk of frozen pipes:

  • Heat: If you are leaving for an extended period of time or if your property is a second home, it is important to leave the heat on, at least above 50 degrees.
  • Faucets: Allow faucets to drip slightly to assist in relieving pressure in the system.
  • Cabinet doors: Keep cabinets with piping (such as under the sinks) open to help keep the pipes warm.
  • Garage doors: Keep garage doors closed if there are supply lines in the garage.
  • Crawl spaces: Close crawl space vents in an effort to keep cold air out.

If you turn on a faucet completely and only a trickle of water comes out, there’s a good chance your pipe is frozen. In the event of a frozen pipe, keep the faucet open. As the frozen area begins to thaw, water will begin to flow and help melt the ice. You can apply heat to the frozen pipe with items such as a hair dryer or space heater. Never use an open flame or flammable materials. It is always recommended to consult with a licensed plumber if you cannot find the frozen pipe.