Six Ways to Prevent Frozen Pipes During a Michigan Winter

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According to, the Michigan Committee for Severe Weather Awareness estimates a quarter-million homes are damaged each winter due to frozen water pipes. To put the damage into perspective, an eighth-inch crack in a pipe can do enough harm to leak up to 250 gallons of water a day.

Consumers Energy wants to protect your household by offering customers tips to prevent pipes from freezing. By using the proper precautions, you can protect your floors, furniture and personal property this winter.

Top Six Ways to Prevent Frozen Pipes

You can take preventative action against frozen pipes with these tips:

  1. Keep garage doors closed if your garage holds water pipelines
  2. Open cabinet doors throughout your home to circulate warmer air to plumbing
  3. Let cold water drip from faucet so water can trickle through exposed pipes
  4. Insulate heating ducts and water pipes in basements, crawl spaces and attics
  5. If you are away from home, set the thermostat no lower than 55 degrees
  6. Hire a professional to relocate exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing

My Pipes Are Frozen, What’s Next?

If you turn on your faucet and only a trickle of water comes out—your pipes may be frozen. Call a licensed plumber immediately; you don’t want to take any chances. You should also:

  • Turn off the water at your home’s main shut-off valve
  • Keep the faucet open so water has a better chance of flowing through the frozen area
  • Never try to thaw a pipe with a torch, open flame or electrical appliances
  • Never use electrical appliances in areas of standing water
  • Check for frozen pipes by opening other faucets throughout your home


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