Preventing Frozen Pipes

Experts offer the following tips for preventing pipes from freezing, or for thawing frozen pipes.

To prevent pipes from freezing:

  • Disconnect & drain outdoor hoses.
  • Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas.
  • Seal off access doors, air vents & cracks.
  • Be sure everyone who may need to find it knows where the master shutoff valve is located.
  • If you will not be home for several days, set your thermostat no lower than 55 degrees.

 To safely thaw frozen pipes:

If despite precautions, your pipes do freeze, experts recommend you hire a Licensed Plumber to thaw them out. If you try thawing them yourself:

  • DO NOT use a torch or electric welder. The following devices can be used; electric iron, hair dryer, heat lamp, soldering iron, or heating cable.
  • Leave the main valve open and a faucet running, which will help remove ice once it is loosened.
  • Be aware that pipe may already be broken and be ready to shut off the master valve.