Water expands as it freezes and puts tremendous pressure inside household plumbing regardless if made of metal or plastic. The expansion of water can cause pipes to break. Most frozen pipes have been exposed to severe cold, like outdoor spigots, water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages or kitchen cabinets. Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.
- Eliminate drafts where water supply lines are located.
- If you have water pipes in basements, crawl spaces or outside walls, insulate the pipes using pipe-sleeves or other insulating material.
- Open closets and cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- When leaving home during cold weather, set the heat to a temperature 55F or above.
- If you suspect that a pipe is particularly susceptible to freezing, as an emergency measure, leave water running at a trickle to prevent freezing. This is never recommended as a permanent measure and should be monitored frequently.
There are safe methods to thaw frozen pipes. If you are unsure how, please contact a licensed plumber or building professional and Never use torches or devices with open flames.