11 Tips To Avoid Frozen Pipes

11 Tips To Avoid Frozen Pipes

  • Jesse Chambless
  • 01/13/24

With the brutally cold temperatures that we will be having over the next week or so I wanted to remind you to make sure that you are doing what you can to avoid frozen or burst pipes. As much as I would love to hear from you, I would hate it if it was because you needed a recommendation for a plumber.

Here are 11 tips that might help to avoid frozen pipes and what to do if your pipes do freeze.

Short Term

  • Keep your house warm day and night, your thermostat should be set above 55 degrees during cold weather. If you are traveling, make sure that your heat is on before you leave.
  • Open cabinet and vanity doors under sinks to maximize exposure to warm air, especially if your sink is on an exterior wall. If you have small children, be sure to remove any harmful cleaners or household chemicals.
  • Let water drip from your faucets. Running water, even a trickle, helps prevent water from freezing.
  • Disconnect garden hoses from spigots. If you have a shut off for your external water supplies make sure that it is shut off and water has been drained from those lines.
  • Install spigot covers to limit exposure to freezing temperatures.
  • Confirm that you have access to your main water valve in case of emergency.

Long Term

Especially important for pipes in areas with poor insulation, such as crawl spaces, attics, and garages.

  • Insulate pipes.
  • Have heat tape or heat cables installed to keep pipes warm in freezing temperatures.
  • Seal air leaks around exterior wall penetrations such as electrical wiring, pipes and vents.
  • Add insulation to areas of your home with poor insulation. Rebates might be available
  • Consider smart devices that can monitor for leaks or excessive water use.

What to do if a pipe freezes?

  • Shut off the main water valve.
  • Is the loss of water at one location or all sinks and appliances in the house? If you are having issues at all locations check with neighbors and the utility company to try to figure out if it is an issue with the city’s water main or if there are frozen pipes in your house. 
  • If you are going to try to thaw frozen pipes, be cautious. If a pipe has already burst water may flow out as it thaws potentially flooding your home.
  • If you believe that it is a localized issue open the faucet so water will flow through the pipe once it is melted.
  • Apply consistent heat using an electric heating pad, hair dryer, portable space heater or warm towels. Keep your heat source away from flammable materials and do not use an open flame. Be careful not to create excess heat or boil the water that is in the pipes which could lead to more damage to your plumbing.
  • Once the pipes are thawed, slowly turn the main water valve back on and confirm that there are not any cracks or leaks.
  • Examine other areas of the home for signs of leaking water, especially where pipes may run through an exterior wall or through an area with poor insulation.
  • Contact a licensed plumber if you are unable to resolve the issue on your own or if you discover signs of leaking water.

If a pipe bursts...

  • Immediately shut off your main water valve.
  • Call a licensed plumber.


Work With Us

The Chambless Team's high energy, optimistic attitude and professional approach are reflected in their love for the real estate profession. Their approach is easy-going and never pushy, which keeps their clients comfortable throughout the buying/selling process.

Follow Us On Instagram