Tips on dealing with frozen pipes

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 23, 2022

With colder weather here, Aqua is reminding homeowners that they should take steps now to prevent their household water pipes from freezing this winter.

“Sustained freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your plumbing and cause your pipes to freeze or rupture,” says Aqua Ohio president Bob Davis. “It’s critical to know how to prepare ahead of severe weather and during below-freezing periods so you’re not facing significant damage and service interruptions. Fortunately, there are simple steps that homeowners can take to ensure their water remains flowing all winter long.”

Aqua recommends that customers take the following steps ahead of severe winter weather:

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• Have heat tape and pipe insulation on hand, as well as a portable space heater and a hair dryer on hand.

• Locate and visibly mark the home’s master water valve. If a pipe does break, use this valve to turn off water to the home.

• Make sure the lids on outdoor meter pits are not broken or missing.

• Shut off and drain any outside faucets including those used for lawn irrigation.

• Prevent drafts in unheated areas, such as crawl spaces or basements, by replacing broken glass or making other repairs.

Aqua also advises customers to take the following precautions in any unheated areas of their homes when temperatures drop below freezing:

• Wrap pipes with insulation or heat tape. Wrap indoor water meters with a blanket. Proper and safe use of portable space heaters can also keep exposed pipes in drafty areas from freezing.

• For interior plumbing located on an outside wall, as is common with kitchen sinks, wrap heat tape to supply lines or open cabinet doors beneath the sink to allow the warm air in the home to reach the pipes. Remember, if small children are in the home to take steps to keep them from discovering chemicals that may be stored in the cabinets.

• When temperatures remain near or below 10°F, customers may want to leave a pencil-lead-size stream of water running continuously from at least one tap in their home—preferably the one farthest from the meter. The additional cost of the water is cheaper than repairing ruptured pipes.

• If a pipe does freeze, and you can locate the frozen area, open a nearby spigot and use a hand-held hair dryer (blow dryer) or heat tape to thaw the area. If this does not resolve the issue, contact a licensed plumber.

Aqua Ohio is the Buckeye State’s largest investor-owned drinking water and wastewater utility and serves about 500,000 Ohioans in 19 counties. Visit for more information or follow Aqua on Facebook at and on Twitter at @MyAquaAmerica.