Tips for Preventing Frozen Pipes

Categories: Press Release

Pennsylvania American Water Reminds Customers of Tips for Preventing Frozen Pipes During Sub-Freezing Temperatures



Pennsylvania American Water Reminds Customers of Tips for Preventing Frozen Pipes During Sub-Freezing Temperatures


MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (Jan. 13, 2024) – With a blast of colder weather forecasted for the upcoming week across the region, Pennsylvania American Water reminds customers to take steps now to prevent frozen and damaged pipes, which can lead to costly repairs.


“Preparation and prevention can help avoid frozen pipes that can burst and result in costly household damages,” said Jim Runzer, vice president of operations for Pennsylvania American Water. “Taking measures now can safeguard your plumbing against the threat of freezes and breaks.”

Property owners are responsible for maintaining the water service line from the curb to the house as well as any in-home plumbing. The company encourages residents to take the following precautions to reduce the risk of household pipes freezing and offers a short video of tips and tricks to help keep your water flowing smoothly through the winter.

Take action now

  • Familiarize yourself with areas of your home most susceptible to freezing, such as basements, crawl spaces, unheated rooms, and outside walls.
  • Eliminate sources of cold air near water lines by repairing broken windows, insulating walls, closing off crawl spaces, and eliminating drafts near doors.
  • Locate your main water shut-off valve. If a pipe freezes or bursts, shut the water off immediately.
  • Protect your pipes and water meter. Wrap exposed pipes with insulation or use electrical heat tracing wire; newspaper or fabric might also work. Keep the lid to the meter pit closed tightly for outside meters and let any snow that falls cover it. Snow acts as insulation, so don’t disturb it.

When temperatures are consistently at or below freezing

  • If you have pipes vulnerable to freezing, allow a small trickle of water to run overnight to keep pipes from freezing. The cost of the extra water is low compared to the repair of a broken pipe.
  • Open cabinet doors to expose pipes to warmer room temperatures to help keep them from freezing.

If your pipes freeze

  • Shut off the water immediately. Don’t attempt to thaw frozen pipes unless the water is shut off. Freezing can often cause unseen cracks in pipes or joints.
  • Apply heat to the frozen pipe by warming the air around it or applying heat directly to a pipe. You can use a hair dryer, space heater, or hot water. Be sure not to leave space heaters unattended.
  • Do not use kerosene heaters or open flames to thaw pipes inside your home.
  • Once the pipes have thawed, slowly turn the water back on and check for cracks and leaks.

When you are away

  • Have a friend, relative, or neighbor regularly check your property to ensure that the heat is working and the pipes have not frozen.
  • A freeze alarm can be purchased for less than $100 and will call a user-selected phone number if the inside temperature drops below 45 degrees.

Help report leaks

Sub-freezing temperatures can cause water main breaks and unsafe driving conditions. If you see a leak or your water service is disrupted, please report it to 1-800-565-7292. You can also report a water outage, leak, or other water emergency online through Pennsylvania American Water’s website (click “Report Emergency” in the top right corner) or through the company’s online customer portal, MyWater.

Clear snow away from hydrants

If you have a hydrant on or near your property, please take a few minutes to clear away the snow. By helping keep fire hydrants clear of snow, you can help firefighters easily locate and access them, preserving valuable time in the event of a fire.

About Pennsylvania American Water

Pennsylvania American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK) is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and wastewater services to approximately 2.3 million people. American Water is the largest regulated water and wastewater utility company in the United States. With a history dating back to 1886, We Keep Life Flowing® by providing safe, clean, reliable and affordable drinking water and wastewater services to more than 14 million people with regulated operations in 14 states and on 18 military installations. American Water’s 6,500 talented professionals leverage their significant expertise and the company’s national size and scale to achieve excellent outcomes for the benefit of customers, employees, investors and other stakeholders. For more information, visit and join American Water on LinkedIn, Facebook, X (formally Twitter) and Instagram.


Media Contacts:


Gary Lobaugh

Senior Manager, Government, and External Affairs, Western PA


David Misner

External Affairs Manager, Central PA



Kara Rahn

Senior Manager, Government and External Affairs, Eastern PA



Susan Turcmanovich

External Affairs Manager, Northeast PA