Tips on how to prevent frozen pipes at home

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — With temperatures in the single digits across Western New York, some people are turning on the faucet only to find nothing is coming out.

So what should you do if your pipes freeze?

Local plumbing companies say they are already responding to calls about frozen pipes. Once temperatures drop below 20 degrees pipes are in danger of freezing.

Co-owner of PCS Plumbing, Chris Tryjankowski, recommends insulating your pipes first. Home improvement stores sell pipe insulation that will cover your pipes to protect them from both the cold and the wind. Insulating wall cavities and open spaces near pipes will also help to prevent freezing.

Tryjankowski says trickling your water all night long can also help if you think your pipes are in danger of freezing. Homeowners should use the sink that has an outside wall behind it.

“Turn the water on ever so slightly, so the water starts trickling out, and that should be enough to keep it from freezing,” said Tryjankowski.

If your pipes are already frozen there are small and easy steps you can do at home.

Tryjankowski says to locate where the water comes into the house which is usually next to the water meter.

“There will be a main valve so if the water is frozen, you want to turn the water off, if you can, because once it thaws you’re gonna have water all over the place,” said Tryjankowski.

If all else fails call a professional licensed plumber for help.

Experts are warning people not to ever use an open flame to thaw the pipes.

“Everyone thinks that the easiest way to do it is to light up a torch, that’s the most dangerous method of all, I mean yes it will work, it will thaw the pipe, it will melt the ice in the pipe, but you can also burn your house down with that,” said Tryjankowski.