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How to prevent and fix frozen pipes

Prevention is your best defense.

outdoor hose spigot covered in ice

Preventing frozen pipes

  • Insulate pipes, especially those close to outside walls, attics or crawl spaces where the chance of freezing is greatest.
  • Seal air leaks surrounding or near pipes.
  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Disconnect all outdoor hoses and turn off water to exterior faucets and sprinkler systems.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
  • Keep heat at 55 degrees F or higher even when you are out of town.
  • During a cold spell turn on both hot and cold faucets near outside walls to allow a small trickle of water to run during the night.
  • If you need to be away from home, leave the heat on and drain your water system before you go.
  • Identify the locations of shutoff valves so that you are prepared to stop the flow of water as soon as possible when a pipe bursts.

What to do if pipes freeze

  • Open all faucets.
  • Remove insulation and wrap pipes in rags.
  • If all else fails, call your plumber.

What to do if pipes burst

  • Shut off the water immediately to prevent additional damage.
  • Take proper precautions to avoid an electrical shock from being in or near standing water.
  • Take an inventory of any damaged property or possessions.
  • Contact a vendor specializing in emergency water mitigation services that can properly dry out the damaged area.

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