Pro Plumber Advice: Prevent a Frozen Pipe

Posted in: Heating | Plumbing by

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Protect your home and family

Frozen pipe repair is the most common winter plumbing service we provide in Columbia CT. Burst pipe repair closely follows. Your local professional plumber has some tips to avoid both issues. Not having heat or running water isn’t an option during subzero weather!


What causes a frozen pipe?

The water in your home is constantly circulating throughout your home. From your bathroom sink and shower, to your kitchen faucet and dishwasher, the plumbing system is full of water and pressure. When you turn your faucet on, you instantly get water. When you turn up the thermostat, your home gets warmer.


However, if your pipes are near a window, or in a crawlspace, a cold winds can freeze them up just like a popsicle. Any water that’s trying to circulate through your radiators or to your faucets will add more pressure to the frozen part. Eventually, you won’t have any heat or running water.

How can I prevent my pipes from freezing?

We get a handful of calls from pro-active Columbia CT homeowners asking this question. Either they’ve experienced frozen or burst pipes before, or they’ve heard horror stories and would like to avoid the headache. Here’s what we suggest:

  • If you hear the forecast calling for windchills below zero, open up your cabinets that are located on outside walls. Cold temperatures made colder by blustery winds are HORRIBLE for any vulnerable plumbing. By keeping your cabinets open, warm air is able to circulate around the pipes to keep them from freezing.


  • In addition to opening your cupboards, check for any drafts near windows or doors. Some basement windows and doors are extremely drafty. Boiler piping and copper drains don’t stand a chance in frigid weather. Seal up any areas where wind is seeping in.
  • Leave your faucets running at a slight drip. This will provide two benefits. First, a drip will keep the water in your home circulating. It’s harder for running water to freeze up. Second, leaving a faucet open will lessen the pressure in your plumbing system. This way, if a pipe does freeze, the water has somewhere to go once it thaws. Otherwise, the pressure will build up and burst the pipe.


  • Heating bills can be killer, but resist the urge to turn the thermostat down. In fact, you should turn the heat up a little when temps dip below the freezing mark. Also, keep the doors open to all the rooms in your home, instead of closing off the rooms you don’t use often. Following both of these suggestions keeps warm air circulating around your pipes and can prevent a frozen pipe.

Your local Columbia CT plumber

Rapid Service LLC provides 24/7 emergency plumbing service. If the roads are passable and safe, and your driveway is clear, a plumbing technician will work quickly to get water flowing again. Please call 860-228-1036 to speak to someone who will help you get rapid service. One last piece of advice: NEVER use an open flame to thaw a frozen pipe! It is VERY dangerous and this method causes too many house fires in the winter. Safety is our top priority!