Frozen Pipes

Freezing temperatures outdoors can make indoor plumbing susceptible to freezing.


Why do pipes freeze?

Most pipes freeze because of exposure to cold blowing air or drafts. Pipes exposed to drafts are typically located in:

  • Basements
  • Under kitchen/bath cabinets
  • Near cracked windows/foundations
  • Within outside walls
  • Unheated crawl spaces.


What precautions can I take to prevent indoor pipes from freezing?

Hamilton County Public Health advises residents to take the following steps when the weather outdoors could cause indoor pipes to freeze:

  • Search your home for pipes in drafty places
  • Insulate pipes and seal off drafts
  • Leave kitchen and bath cabinets open
  • Allow a trickle of water to flow through susceptible plumbing


What if my pipes DO freeze?

If your plumbing does freeze, never use an open flame or blowtorch to thaw a pipe. Instead, use a hair dryer to thaw and re-establish water flow. Call a plumber immediately if you cannot thaw a pipe or if the line breaks.



For more information contact the Plumbing Division of Hamilton County Public Health at 513-946-7854 .


Download a printable version of this fact sheet here.


250 William Howard Taft Road
2nd Floor, Cincinnati, OH 45219
Phone 513.946.7800 Fax 513.946.7890