Tips on how to best manage a frozen pipe situation in your home
Prevention is the key here so please see our link on How to Winterize your home and prevent frozen pipes
When outside temperatures are below freezing, uninsulated and exterior water pipes can freeze and often burst.
If you suspect you have a frozen pipe as temperatures rise it should thaw out naturally and this is when the majority of damage occurs, as there is a high possibility that the pipe has already burst.
A burst pipe can very quickly cause a severe flood and extensive water damage.
You will not know if the pipe is burst until it has thawed.
So if you have a frozen pipe in your home, it is imperative that the thawing process is controlled, so please do the following:
- Shut off the main water line into your property.
- Open all faucets that the frozen pipe feeds water into. Make sure to open both the hot and cold handles. This will help to relieve pressure in the system and will allow the water to escape as the pipe thaws.
- Once the pipe has thawed, you will need to turn the main water line back on and check for leaks. You will need to pay very close attention to determine if a pipe has burst.
- Only turn the main water line back on when you know you will be home for a while to check for leaks. Do not turn on the main water line and leave the property unattended.
- If you hear or see water from a burst pipe, immediately turn off the main water line and submit an emergency repair request to APS.
If you have any questions or do not know where your water shut-off valve is, please submit a maintenance request by clicking here MAINTENANCE REQUEST before you need to use it.
Exterior Hose Bibs
To reduce the risk of your pipes freezing, it is important that you disconnect any outside water hoses as well as properly shut off and drain all exterior water pipes and hose bibs. This is done easily via a shut-off valve inside your property. Additionally, leave outside hose bibs in the open position.
If you have an oil furnace, ensure that your tank is full and that you set up a regular fill plan with your oil provider. This will ensure that the tank never goes empty and will break up your oil bill; allowing for smaller payments versus one large bill at the end of the season.
Outdoor Water/HVAC Closet
If you have an outside water/HVAC closet it MUST be properly heated to prevent the sprinkler line from freezing. Be sure any exterior pipes are properly insulated. In below-freezing temperatures, use a 100 watt light bulb (NOT fluorescent) to heat this small space or add an additional heater in the closet to prevent freezing. ALWAYS keep the closet door shut!