Frozen Water Pipes

Freezing winter temperatures can cause water pipes inside your home or business to freeze or burst. The following suggestions can help prevent frozen pipes:

  • Leave cabinet doors open under kitchen or bathroom sinks (especially if they are located against an outside wall) to allow warmer room temperature air to circulate around pipes.
  • Place a small lamp with an incandescent bulb near the pipes. Be sure to remove anything flammable from the area to prevent fires.
  • Allow faucets to drip slowly to keep water flowing through pipes that are vulnerable to freezing. If the dripping stops, ice may be blocking the pipe. Keep the faucet open to assist in pressure relief.
  • Make sure you have disconnected your outside garden hose from the spigot and the water is turned off.
  • If your water meter is located in the vicinity of your garage, do not leave your garage door open for extended periods of time.
  • Have a family member or close friend check on your home to make sure the heat is still on if you are out of town.

If Water Pipes Freeze

If you turn on your faucets and no water comes out, the water in your pipes is probably frozen. You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe with the warm air from a hair dryer. Make sure the faucet is open, and never stand in water while operating an electric appliance. Do not use a blowtorch or any other open flame to thaw pipes to prevent fires.

If your water pipes have already burst, turn off the water at the main shut-off valve in the house and contact a plumber. Leave the water faucets turned on. Make sure all family members know where the water shut-off valve is located and how to operate it. Shut-off valves are typically located along the pipe leading into or out of the water meter inside your home. Most newer homes have two shut-off valves, both before and after the water meter. If you need the water turned off and the shut-off valve is not working, please call the Public Works Department and the Utilities Division can shut the water off at the buffalo box (b-box) outside your home or business.

For more information or assistance with frozen pipes, please call the Public Works Department at (847) 705-5200.