Freezing pipes

When temperatures stay below freezing


Give pipes a hand


  • For pipes running through cabinets or vanities, open the door to let warmer room temperatures in.
  • Follow Seattle Public Utilities' how-to videos to protect outdoor spigots with foam faucet covers.
  • Cover your pipes with inexpensive pipe wrap insulation found at hardware stores.

Keep water working


  • Allow a small trickle of water to run. The cost of extra water is typically lower than the cost of repairing a broken pipe. Catch the water in a bowl or pitcher to water plants and wash produce. 

If your pipes freeze


Shut off water immediately


  • Do not attempt to thaw pipes without turning off the main shut-off valve.

Thaw pipes with warm air


  • Melt frozen water in the pipe by warming the air around it with a hair dryer or space heater.  
  • Do not leave space heaters unattended.
  • Do not use kerosene heaters or open flames.

Careful turning water back on


  • Once pipes thaw, slowly turn the water back on.  
  • Check pipes and joints for any cracks or leaks caused by freezing.