Preventing Frozen Pipes

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When the temperature drops near or below freezing, frozen pipes can become a real problem for homeowners. Rock Hill Utilities urges everyone to take some precautions to avoid a costly winter problem.

Preventing Frozen Pipes
  • Exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing. Outside pipes should have faucet covers or be covered with insulation in some way. Hoses should be disconnected and put away for winter as they are an easy access route for cold air.
  • In some cases, pipes can be wrapped with heat tape. Warm water can be allowed to drip overnight from a faucet, and cabinet doors should be opened to allow heat to get to uninsulated pipes.
  • Make sure the service line between the meter and your house is not exposed. It should be buried at least 18 inches deep.
Dealing With Frozen Plumbing

When your precautions fail, and your pipes are frozen, try these tips to get water moving again.

  • Pipes can be thawed with warm air from a hair dryer, using caution. Warm the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, working toward the coldest section of pipe.
  • Do not use electrical appliances in areas of standing water and do not try to thaw a pipe with an open flame.
  • If your efforts are unsuccessful, faucets should be left turned on and a plumber should be called.
  • If water pipes have frozen and burst, water should be turned off at the main shut-off valve located at the meter. In some dwellings, the shut-off valve is close to the house where the water service line ties into the household system.

Additional information about Preventing & Thawing Frozen Pipes from the American Red Cross

If you are a Rock Hill water customer and are unable to turn off your water, call the AllCall automated reporting system at 803-329-5500.