Preventing Frozen Water Pipes

Every winter, property owners face the expense and upset of frozen water pipes and meters. Frozen pipes aren’t just an inconvenience. Families have their homes ruined and their lives disrupted each winter because of water pipes that freeze. Read on for important tips to avoid frozen water pipes in your home.

Be Prepared For Frozen Pipes:Frozen Water Pipe

  • Find the master shutoff valve. It may be near the water heater, washing machine, or where the water service pipe enters the house from the street. If a pipe bursts anywhere in the house, this valve will turn the water flow off. Make sure everyone in the residence knows where this valve is.
  • Have a plumber’s number handy, in case of an unexpected emergency.


  • Maintain heat at 55 degrees minimum (including in basement).
  • Avoid drafts where water meter and exposed pipe are located.
  • Insulate pipes that are located in cold and drafty places in the home.


  • Disconnect hoses.
  • Shut off faucets from inside basement and drain the faucets.


  • Open cabinet doors to allow heat to reach water pipes.
  • Some customers choose to run cold water faucets constantly (the size of a pencil lead). This may help if your service has a history of freezing.

If You Have a Frozen Pipe:

  • NEVER use a torch or flame to try to thaw a frozen pipe.
  • If attempting to thaw the pipe yourself, the best tool is a hair dryer on a low setting – wave back and forth over pipe.
  • When thawing pipes, be mindful that they may already be broken and may start to leak once they begin to thaw. Be ready to run to the shutoff valve.
  • SWSC customers can contact Field Customer Service at 310-3501 anytime, 24/7.

It is the customer’s responsibility to ensure that the area around the water meter is kept open, warm, and dry. The cost to replace a meter or repair pipes that are damaged from freezing or bursting is the customer’s responsibility. Take steps to protect your home this winter season!

More information can be found here:

“Helpful Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes” Video

“Preventing Frozen Water Pipes” Brochure – single page, English only

“Tips for Avoiding Frozen Water Pipes this Winter” Tri-fold Flyer – two pages, English and Spanish