Check for Frozen Pipes

Check for Frozen Pipes

Now that temperatures have risen slightly, it’s time to assess for any damage from frozen or leaking pipes. This is important for your home and belongings, but also has a wider impact on your local water system.

If you are experiencing outages, it may be due to frozen pipes, commonly caused by water softeners and other less insulated plumbing.   When the water is off in your home and there is activity on your water meter, this indicates a leak.  

What do I do next?

If your pipes are frozen, follow these steps:

  1. First, locate the section of piping that is frozen. Start closest to your faucets. Work from the faucet down to the frozen section.
  2. Leave your faucets on so that when the water thaws, it has some place to go.
  3. Use a hair dryer to help thaw the pipe from the outside. Do not use a hair dryer in standing water!
  4. Warm towels in a pot of hot water and then wrap them around the frozen sections of pipe.
  5. A portable space heater may also be used in the areas of your home with frozen pipes to help prevent them from re-freezing
  6. DO NOT use an open flame or extreme heat to thaw frozen pipes! Doing so could cause an explosion and serious injury.

If a water pipe bursts, follow these steps:

  1. Your water will need to be turned off at the main valve. The main water valve can be located near the hot water heater, inside your garage, or  in an underground cement box near your front curb. 
  2. If the burst pipe is a hot water line, make sure to also turn off the water valve at the top of your hot water heater.
  3. Once you have turned off the main water valve, call a local plumber.
  4. If your water meter is frozen, contact your operator.