Dealing with frozen water pipes

To prevent frozen pipes
  • Open cabinet doors under sinks to allow warmer air to circulate.
  • Don't set your thermostat lower than 55 degrees.
  • Disconnect the garden hose. Turn off the indoor valve and drain the water to outdoor faucets.
  • Insulate water lines inside your house. Use preformed foam tubes, weatherproof insulation, or heat tape. Focus on water lines near exterior walls or in unheated areas.
  • If you'll be away for a few days, turn off the water supply at the meter.
  • Temperatures Below Zero: Let a thin stream of water flow. Note that you will be charged for the water consumption; but consider the cost of water damage repair vs. cost of usage.

To thaw a frozen pipe

If some faucets and appliances are dry and others still work, a water line is frozen inside the building. Run a damp rag along exposed water pipes. Likely areas are near exterior walls or in unheated areas. Your ice plug is where you see the frost appear.
  • Thaw the pipe out slowly using a hair dryer
  • Don't thaw the pipe with an open flame or torch
  • And be extremely careful of electric shock in areas of standing water

Do you know where your water meter is?

Know the location so you can turn off the water supply in an emergency. Look for the black touch pad outside of your home. The water meter is most likely inside the home, in the basement, near the area of the touch pad or where the water line enters your home.

If your meter is located in a closet or a boxed-in area, open the doors or access panels to allow air to circulate.