Building and Condo Maintenance

Frozen Pipes and How to Prevent Them

Here in the Midwest, frozen water pipes can and do happen in the wintertime. However, most of the time, frozen pipes are preventable. Here are some tips to help prevent your pipes from freezing.

  • Open cabinet doors under sinks, in storage areas and by the water heater to allow heat from the room to circulate around the pipes.
  • Allow a trickle of hot and cold water to drip overnight. Only a minimum amount is needed to keep the water flowing. However, be careful not to run the water into a drain line that is exposed to the extreme cold as that line might freeze.
  • Apply heat tape or thermostat-controlled heat cables around pipes that are exposed and prone to freezing.
  • Make sure the heat is turned on in the building and is set no lower than 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • If you have experienced pipe freezes in the past, there’s a good chance that it will happen again so be sure to monitor it carefully.

If your pipes freeze, there are a few things you can and should do.

  • Shut off the water main for your unit (if you have one) to reduce pressure on frozen pipes and minimize flooding if the pipes burst.
  • Contact Management immediately.
  • Use a hair dryer to thaw the ice blockage if the frozen pipe is exposed and visible. (Do not use an open flame to thaw!)
  • If you notice slower water flow and suspect frozen pipes, contact Management immediately so we can assess if a plumber is required.

Remember, your building manager is always here to help in case of emergency.

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