Aqua Ohio offers tips to help avoid and deal with frozen pipes

Aqua Ohio (Aqua) is encouraging its customers to take steps to prevent frozen pipes inside their homes during cold weather.

“With the recent cold snap, we’ve started receiving calls from customers with frozen pipes,” said Aqua’s Area Manager Scott Ballenger. “Aqua wants to make sure they know what they can do to prevent pipes from freezing and what they can do if they find themselves with frozen pipes.”

Some things Balenger says customers can do right now, to prepare for severe winter weather are:

  • Locate and visibly mark the master valve so customers can turn off the water to their home in case a pipe breaks inside their home. (everyone old enough to be left at home alone should know where this valve is and how to operate it)
  • Make sure the lids on outdoor meter pits are not broken or missing.
  • Prevent drafts in unheated areas, such as crawl spaces or basements, by replacing broken glass or making other repairs.

Balenger says materials customers should have on hand are heat tape, pipe insulation, a portable space heater and a portable hairdryer. The tips he advises customers to use in unheated areas of their homes when temperatures drop below freezing are:

  • Wrap pipes with insulation material or heat tape. Wrap indoor water meters with a blanket.
  • For interior plumbing located on an outside wall such as a kitchen sink, install heat tape to the pipes beneath the sink. Open cabinet doors beneath sinks to allow the warm air in the home to reach pipes. (If young children are in the home take steps to prevent them from accessing chemicals that may be kept under the sink)
  • When temperatures remain below 10F, customers might want to leave a thin stream (about the size of a pencil lead) of water running continuously from at least one tap—preferably the one farthest from where the water enters the home. The additional cost of the water is cheaper than the cost of repairing broken pipes.
  • If pipes do freeze and the customer can locate the frozen area, use a hair dryer or heat tape to thaw the area. Do not use a plumber’s torch or heat gun.

Aqua Ohio is the Buckeye State’s largest investor-owned drinking water and wastewater utility and serves about 500,000 Ohioans in 19 counties. Visit for more information, or follow Aqua on Facebook at and on Twitter at @MyAquaAmerica.

About Marion Online News

Marion Online is owned and operated by the (somewhat) fine people at Neighborhood Image, a local website design and hosting company. We know, a locally owned media company, it's crazy. To send us information, click on Contact Us in the menu.