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How to Keep Water Pipes from Freezing/How to Thaw Frozen Ones

How to Keep Water Pipes from Freezing/How to Thaw Frozen Ones

As temperatures drop, there is a risk of water pipes freezing and bursting.

Here's a list of tips on how to prevent frozen pipes and what to do if they do freeze.

  1. Ensure that windows and doors are tightly sealed from drafts, especially in areas where pipes are present.
  2. Allow warm air to circulate in enclosed areas against perimeter walls.
  3. Let cold water trickle through pipes that are at a high risk of freezing in extremely cold weather.  Running water through a pipe - even a trickle - keeps the pipe from freezing.
  4. Keep the thermostat at a constant temperature and avoid excessively low indoor temperatures.  Don't set lower than 15C.

What to do when the pipes freeze.

  1. Keep the faucet open while treating a frozen pipe as running water will help to melt the ice.
  2. Apply heat to the frozen area using electric heat tape, a hair dryer, a heating pad, or a portable space heater.  Never use open flame devices, or unapproved space heating appliances.
  3. Apply heat until full pressure is restored, if the pipe cannot be thawed,call a licensed plumber.
  4. Consider relocating the piping to prevent future freezing.
  5. Add pipe insulation and keep pipes away from exterior walls. Consider installing permanent electric heat tape to the pipes at risk.