Temperatures are expected to stay below freezing for the next week, which could lead to frozen pipes.

Take the following precautionary steps to avoid frozen – and bursting – pipes:

  • Make sure that you set the thermostat higher that you usually do at night. You may pay a bit more in heating costs, but you’ll avoid costly repairs if the pipes burst.
  • Make sure that your thermostat isn’t near a fireplace, which can cause your thermostat to turn off the heat, impacting other parts of the room or your house.
  • If you’re leaving for an extended period of time, or going on vacation, make sure that the thermostat is set no lower than 55.
  • If your pipes are exposed, or if they run along an exterior wall, turn on the faucet and let the water run at a trickle.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to circulate air around the pipes. Remember to remove household cleaners and chemicals and put them in a safe place, especially if there are young children in the house.

If your pipes freeze:

If you turn on the water and it only comes out as a trickle, or not at all, your pipes are probably frozen.

  • Locate the frozen area, which will probably be in a pipe along the exterior wall, or where the water service enters the house.
  • Keep the faucet open. Running water will help melt other areas which may also be frozen.
  • Apply heat to the pipe, using a hair dryer, an electric heating pad or heated towels wrapped around the pipe. Never use a blow torch, propane heater, charcoal stove or other open flame devices. This could lead to the igniting of any nearby combustible materials.
  • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored.

If you can’t locate where the frozen pipe is, if you can’t get the frozen pipe to thaw, or if it’s in an area which is not accessible, call a licensed plumber.