Residents of other states doesn’t think of Dallas as freezing in the winter, but anyone who lives here knows differently: while most days and nights stay above freezing, we definitely experience freezing temperatures during winter.

In fact, the Dallas Morning News reported in February 2014 that Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport experienced more freezes that year than any other year in the last three decades.

As for the winter of 2014-2015, named Dallas as the city in the country that endured the fourth worst winter in the country, with only Northern California (because it had no snow, critical to helping ease the state’s worst drought in decades), Nashville and Boston having worse winters. In fact, Syracuse, New York, that northeast city well known for its brutal winter temperatures had a better winter than we did during last year’s winter. ( named Syracuse as having the 5th worst winter weather.)

Prevent pipes freezing in winter

It gets COLD in Dallas and your pipes could freeze.

So we’ve put together a short primer on how to keep your plumbing pipes from freezing (and how to thaw them out properly if they do freeze). See below.

You should prepare your pipes before it gets too cold. Dallas temperatures at night have been the 50s so far this fall, so now is the time to prepare your plumbing.

  • If you haven’t done so already, drain your swimming pool. You also should drain its water supply lines. Don’t put antifreeze in them unless the pool’s manufacturer instructions say so.
  • Look around your home for supply lines that go to or are located in unheated areas. Such areas include crawl spaces, basements, the garage, the attic, and under bathroom and kitchen cabinets
  • Unattach, drain and store outdoor hoses and make sure you close the inside valves that supply those outdoor hoses. Then keep the outside valve open so that any water that stays in the pipes will be able to expand so that the pipe won’t break.

Once winter hits:

  • If your garage holds water supply lines, make sure you keep the garage door closed.
  • When it’s really cold outside, keep your bathroom and kitchen cabinet doors ajar so that warmer air can circulate around them.
  • If it’s frigid outdoors, consider keeping your thermostat at the same temperature during the day and night. It’s best to lower your thermostat at night to save money on your heating bill, but if it’s dead cold outside, paying a larger heating bill is less expensive than repairing frozen/broken plumbing pipes.
  • Keep all faucets open so that water trickles out. Moving water helps keep pipes from freezing.
  • If leaving the house for several days, set the thermostat to no lower than 55 degrees F.

If you need to thaw frozen pipes:

  • Keep the faucet open to the aforementioned trickle. This will help melt ice in the pipe as you treat it.
  • To treat the pipe:
    • Wrap an electric heating pad around a section of the frozen pipe. You also can use a portable space heater, hair dryer, or wrap the pipes in towels you’ve soaked in very hot water. Never use a blowtorch or propane heater, etc.
    • Keep applying the heat until water comes out of the pipe at full pressure.

If you’re unable to thaw the pipe yourself, or can’t get to the frozen area of the pipe, call a professional Dallas plumbing company.

Frozen pipes could mean that the ice inside it keeps expanding until the pipe bursts, a very expensive repair job. We hope you’ll follow these tips so that you don’t need us to repair your pipes. But if you do need the plumbing repair experts at Plumbing Dynamics, call us at 214-929-3431.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/