Holiday plumbing tips

Keep Your Pipes Merry and Unfrozen This Holiday Season: Tips from Vern's Plumbing

As the holiday season approaches in Central Virginia, our thoughts turn to festive decorations, family gatherings, and cozy nights. However, dropping temperatures can bring a not-so-welcomed guest: the risk of frozen pipes. At Vern’s Plumbing, we want to ensure your holidays are filled with joy, not plumbing emergencies. In this article, we’ll guide you through essential tips to prevent frozen pipes and keep your home’s plumbing in top shape.

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

  1. Insulate Your Pipes: Pipes in unheated areas like basements, attics, and garages are most susceptible to freezing. Use foam pipe insulation or heating tape to keep them warm.
  2. Keep the Heat On: Even when you’re not home, maintain a consistent temperature. What temperature do pipes freeze? Typically, pipes are at risk when the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping your thermostat set to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit, even when you’re away, can prevent freezing.
  3. Let Faucets Drip: Allowing a trickle of water to run through the pipes can prevent pressure buildup and reduce the chance of a burst pipe. Focus on faucets along exterior walls.
  4. Seal Up Cracks and Holes: Check for drafts near your pipes. Use caulk or insulation to seal up any holes on both interior and exterior walls.
  5. Open Cabinet Doors: This simple step allows warmer air to circulate around the plumbing, especially in the kitchen and bathroom.
  6. Disconnect Outdoor Hoses: Remove, drain, and store garden hoses. Close the inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs and open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain.

What to Do If Your Pipes Freeze

If you suspect your pipes have frozen (e.g., no water comes out of the faucet), act quickly:

  • Keep the faucet open. As the frozen area begins to melt, water flow will help melt more ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the affected section of the pipe using an electric heating pad, a hairdryer, or towels soaked in hot water. Avoid using open flame devices.
  • Check all other faucets in your home to see if you have additional frozen pipes.

Can You Shut Off Water to Prevent Frozen Pipes?

Yes, turning off the water can be a preventive measure, especially if you’re leaving home for an extended period. This step won’t prevent the pipes from freezing but can minimize the damage if they do.


Frozen pipes can be a serious concern during the winter months, but with these preventative steps, you can enjoy a worry-free holiday season. Remember, prevention is key, and a little extra attention to your home’s plumbing can save a lot of trouble.

If you have any concerns or need professional assistance, don’t hesitate to contact Vern’s Plumbing. Our team of experts is ready to help ensure your plumbing is winter-ready. Visit us at Vern’s Plumbing for more information or to schedule a service.

Wishing you warm and joyful holidays from all of us at Vern’s Plumbing!

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