How to Prevent Pipes From Freezing and Thaw Frozen Pipes

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Every winter frozen pipes are a major risk for Boston homeowners. Low winter temperatures can cause the pipes to freeze, which in some instances, leads to pipes bursting. Take appropriate action to prepare your home for winter and if necessary, address a frozen pipes.


The best way to keep the pipes from freezing is to let cold water drip from a faucet. Having a drip relieves pressure, eliminating the risk of a pipe bursting, even when freezing occurs. Choose the sink furthest from where the water comes into the house. This will keep the water flowing through the entire set of pipes for the house. Other tried and true pipe freezing prevention tactics include insulating the pipes with foam, capping outdoor water fixtures, and keeping the thermostat set at 68 degrees or higher.


During extreme cold spells, keep an eye on your drips so that you catch signs of freezing as early as possible. Check the water flow and pressure of your faucets each morning and evening to watch for reduced flow, which can indicate freezing. Inspect the pipes around the water meter, near exterior walls, and in unheated regions of the home (i.e. the crawlspace), as these areas are most susceptible to freezing.


A hair dryer is a simple, effective way to thaw out a frozen faucet or pipe. Take care to avoid operating the hair dryer in close proximity to standing water. You can also use a space heater to warm up the room. Don’t use any type of gas or blow torch. After you’ve run the hair dryer, soak towels in hot water and beginning with the pipe section closest to the faucet, wrap them around the frozen segments of the pipe. Keep the faucet turned on to allow melted water to drip out of the pipe.

In the rare event that a pipe does burst, shut off the main water valve. If the break occurs in a hot water pipe, you should close the valve on the top of the water heater. Then call a plumber for further professional help.

Plumbers Cambridge MA are here to help you with all of your plumbing needs. Whether you require assistance preparing your Boston area home for winter or you’re facing a frozen pipe emergency, doesn’t hesitate to contact a reputable plumber.