Frozen pipes are a common problem that homeowners may encounter during extreme cold temperatures. Here are a few ways to know if you have frozen pipes:

1. No Water Is Coming Out of the Faucet - A lack of running water is a sign that you may have a frozen pipe. If you turn on a kitchen or bathroom faucet and only a slight trickle of water or no water at all comes out, the water pipe leading to the faucet may be frozen.

2. There Is Frost on the Pipe - For pipes that can actively be seen, such as those under sinks, you may be able to see frost that has accumulated. This can also serve as a warning sign that the pipe is frozen before you try to turn on the faucet.

What Should You Do?

1. It is important to immediately turn off the water to your home until a plumber arrives in order to avoid a burst pipe and flooding inside your home.

2. In addition, after extreme cold temperatures go away, exterior hose bibs that were frozen can cause flooding if the hose bib water line is turned on and there’s a buildup of ice in the line. Turn the water line to the hose bib off and keep the hose bib open until the frozen water melts out of the line.

3. If you have signs of frozen pipes at your home, schedule a service call with a certified BGE HOME plumber by going to "Schedule A Repair" at the top of this page or call our Customer Care Center at 1-888-BGE-HOME (243-4663).

Plumbing Safety and Do-It-Yourself Tips

Save yourself the time and money of a plumbing repair with these do-it-yourself tips and troubleshooting hints.

  • When a toilet runs, there are several things to check for:
    • Is the float arm not rising high enough? Bend the float arm down or away from tank wall.
    • Is the float ball filled with water? Replace the float ball and install a new flush valve assembly.
    • Is the tank stopper not seated properly? Adjust the stopper guide rod and lift wires or chain.
    • Is the flush valve seal corroded? Replace it.
    • Is the overflow tube cracked? Replace it.
    • Does the ball cock valve not shut off? Replace faulty washers or install new ball cock assembly.
  • If your toilet is clogged, remove blockage with a plunger or closet auger.
  • Most drain problems can be avoided with regular maintenance. Run hot water down your drains every few weeks to remove accumulated soap and grease.
  • To keep your laundry tub from having drain blockages, tie an old stocking over the end of the drain hose to catch lint.
  • Here is a simple test to see if your toilet is leaking: put food coloring in the toilet tank. If the water in the toilet bowl turns the color of the dye without flushing, you have a leak.
  • Poor water pressure from your kitchen or bathroom faucet could be the result of an accumulation of sediment particles in the aerator. Remove the aerator, check for any blockages and run under water to clean.
  • Run ice cubes through your garbage disposal once a month to help keep unpleasant odors from building up.
  • Clean floor drain strainers regularly.
  • Clean pop-up stoppers in the bathroom sink and tub regularly. Pull them out and rinse them off.
  • Weak pressure in your showerhead can be as simple as mineral buildup. Clean outlet holes with a pin or soak the faceplate in vinegar to remove deposits.
  • The most effective way to clear a clog is with a drain snake.
  • If you need help making a repair, contact BGE HOME for a plumbing repair from a certified plumber.

Safety should be a priority on any job. Here are some helpful hints to keep you safe.

  • Always know where your water supply shutoffs are located. This includes the main water shut off, toilet shut off and sink shut off valves.
  • If a plumbing repair is near an electrical source, be sure to turn off the power to that electrical source to avoid getting electrocuted.
  • Wear eye protection to avoid injury.
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