What to do about frozen pipes

Frozen pipe leakingWhen the temperature is extremely cold, the water in your pipes may freeze, which can make the pipes burst.

To help prevent frozen pipes:

  • Check for open windows, air vents, and drafts near water pipes.
  • Seal leaks in the basement foundation where cold air may enter. Stuff holes with insulation. A tiny opening my cause an exposed pipe to freeze.
  • Allow a slow trickle of water to flow through faucets connected to water pipes that run through unheated spaces.
  • Open cabinet doors under sinks during cold spells to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.
  • Putting foam insulation on a copper water pipe.Insulate pipes in unheated spaces like garages, basements, and crawl spaces.

Be ready in case you have pipe freeze:

  • Find your water shut off valves and know how to shut off water if you do have a pipe burst.
  • Get a water alarm to put in your basement or other area where a water leak would not be immediately noticed.

What to do about frozen pipes:

  • If a pipe bursts, shut off the water promptly to minimize damage.
  • If your pipes freeze, use a hair dryer to thaw the lines safely. Thawing will not be fast, but it will be safe.
  • NEVER USE AN OPEN FLAME TO THAW PIPES [that's how my Grandma's house burned down - Webmaster]

When pipes are frozen, there is often water available in at least one faucet. If there is no water coming through any of your taps, there may be a problem in your service outside. 

If you have no water, please call the Lexington DPW water and sewer division:

Monday - Friday, 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM, call 781-274-8300 extension 1
After hours, call our emergency number at 781-862-1618