There are a number of things you can do to protect pipes from freezing, according to the American Red Cross. Among them: draining and storing hoses; closing inside valves supply outdoor hose bibs and then opening hose bibs to allow water to drain; adding insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces; install products made to insulate water pipes, such as “pipe sleeves” or UL-listed “heat tape.”
To prevent frozen pipes, let your hot and cold faucets drip overnight and open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to uninsulated pipes under sinks on exterior walls. The water you run doesn’t have to be warm, even cold water at a trickle helps prevent pipes from freezing.
Setting your thermostat at the same temperature day and night will help prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting. While avoiding a high heating bill might be tempting, you could be protecting yourself from costly repairs from frozen or burst pipes. And if you’re going to be away from home for an extended period of time, don't lower heat below 55 degrees.
Keep your house heated to a minimum of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature inside the walls where the pipes are located is substantially colder than the walls themselves. A temperature lower than 65 degrees might not keep the inside walls from freezing.
If only a trickle of water is coming out of your faucet, a frozen pipe may be to blame. Pipes most susceptible to freezing are against exterior walls or where water enters your home through the foundation. If you’re able to locate the frozen pipe, apply heat using an electric heating pad, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Be careful with the heat source and don’t use open flame devices such as blowtorches or propane heaters. If you can’t locate the frozen pipe or if it’s not accessible, call a licensed plumber.
Check all other faucets in your home to see if you have any other frozen pipes. Pipes in colder areas of your home, including the attic, basement and crawl spaces, are the most likely to freeze.