What to do when your home’s pipe freeze?

Just like the weather is unpredictable, so is life. In our previous blog post, we discussed how to prevent your pipes from freezing. By taking these precautions, homeowners can decrease the chances of coming home to a flooded house.  

The below-freezing temperatures can cause your home’s plumbing to freeze and leave your pipes in danger of bursting. Here’s a lesson from ServiceOne’s Omaha plumbers about why pipes freeze and what to do when it happens.

Why do pipes burst?

People believe that the ice that goes around the outside of your pipes is what causes them to explode. Usually, where the pipe burst occurs is where there is little to no ice on the outside of the pipe. It’s usually the water inside the tubes to blame for an actual rupture of the pipe.

As the water gets close to freezing, the water starts to expand. The ice that forms insides begins to create pressure inside the pipe. Once the pressure gets too high, the pipe ruptures.

An example we can all relate to? It’s like leaving a can of soda in the freezer and forgetting to take it out. The liquid inside the can expands and causes it to explode. Water is the same way, it expands when it freezes.

How cold is enough to freeze?

It all depends on where you live and how your pipes are protected. If your pipes are un-insulated and unconditioned, they can freeze. Research states that when temperatures start to fall below 20 degrees Fahrenheit your pipes are in danger of freezing.  

That's why it's experts suggest you add insulation around your pipes when the weather starts to reach freezing points. Because the weather can be unpredictable, it’s a good idea to know what to do if they do burst. It’s better to be prepared and have a game plan than rushing and causing more damage.

What to do when your home’s pipe freeze?

1. Turn off your water.

First things first, you want to reduce the water damage as much as possible. Locate where your water valve is and shut off the water. It’s a good idea to know where your water valve is beforehand.

2. Keep one faucet open.

If your pipes being to thaw you'll want a place for your water and pressure within the pipes to escape. Too much pressure within your plumbing pipes is another common cause of bursts. Opening one faucet will do. 

3. Call a plumber.

After you’ve done both of those things, it’s time to call professional Omaha plumbers, like the technicians at ServiceOne. It’s a good idea to have researched a plumbing company you can trust that will get the job done. We do not recommend you try and thaw the pipes yourself. 

4. Clean up.

If you had a pipe burst, it’s time to remove the water. It might be a good idea to contact a water damage professional if the rupture was significant. Homeowners will want to prevent mold and mildew from building up. Using a mop or wet/dry vacuum to remove the water will work for small leaks. 

When you’re having a plumbing emergency, give us a call! We’ll send one of our Omaha plumbers as soon as possible to your home. We’ll be able to inspect and let you know what caused that emergency.


With our team of qualified, courteous ServiceOne air conditioning professionals, we will keep your home or business comfortable year-round! For over 30 years, ServiceOne has been trusted to provide top-notch sales and service to homes and businesses in the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro area and in Dubuque, Iowa. With over 90 employees standing by ready to help, you can always trust us to deliver 100% satisfactory service. We also offer home warranty & service agreements, plumbing serviceselectrical services, appliance repair, and help with generators and home and business automation. For more information about our services, contact us today!

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