Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing 

  • Disconnect all gardening hoses and install covers on all outside faucets.
  • Keep your house temperature at 68 degrees or higher, even if you’re leaving the house for an extended period of time.
  • Open cabinet doors below sinks to allow heat from the home to circulate.
  • Identify the location of the main water valve and the valve on your water heater. (Learning the location of these valves may come in handy during an emergency.)
  • Wrap pipes nearest exterior walls and in crawl spaces with pipe insulation or with heating tape. This can prevent freezing, especially for interior pipes that run along outside walls.
  • Close all windows near water pipes; cover or close open-air vents. Freezing temperatures combined with wind drafts can cause pipes to freeze more frequently.
  • Insulate outside walls and unheated areas of your home.
  • If you plan to be away from home for an extended period of time, shut off water supply valve to your home.

Store Bought Hose Faucet Covers

 

Wrapping Hose Faucet with a Towel

Monitor Freezing Pipe Conditions 

  • Allow a faucet to drip slightly (lukewarm water) in order to minimize freezing.
  • The first sign of freezing is reduced water flow from a faucet.
  • Check your faucets for water flow and pressure before you go to sleep and again when you wake up.
  • Check pipes around your water meter, in unheated areas, near exterior walls and in crawl spaces.
  • These tend to be vulnerable to freezing conditions.
  • Identify cold air drafts coming in from a flue or chimney chase and caulk gaps that are near pipes.

If a Pipe Freezes 

  • If a faucet or pipe inside your house freezes, you can thaw it using a good hair dryer.
    • For safety purposes, avoid operating a hair dryer around standing water.
  • To thaw a frozen pipe, heat water on the stove, soak towels in the hot water and wrap them around cold sections of the pipes.
  • When thawing a pipe, start thawing it nearest to the faucet. Make sure the faucet is turned on so that melted water can drip out.

 If a Pipe Bursts  

  • Shut off water at the main valve.
  • If the break is in a hot water pipe, the valve on top of the water heater should be closed.
  • Contact your home warranty