Preventing Frozen Pipes

Frozen Pipe

Preventing frozen water pipes and meters
Cold Minnesota winters can lead to the risk of frozen water service lines. Richfield Public Works encourages taking action to prevent frozen service lines.

  • Keep temperatures above freezing - this is especially important in basement or well room where the water service line enters the home and where the water meter is located.
  • Place a lamp by the water meter.
  • Leave well room open - allow warm air to circulate.
  • Open cupboard doors in the kitchen under your sink if it is on an exterior wall.
  • Have someone check on your house if you go out of town - freezing can quickly occur if your heating system were to fail.
  • Keep water dripping - this method is recommended only if you have had previous issues with pipes freezing.  Any extra cost on your water bill may be worth the future hassle and expense of correcting a frozen line. You only need a pencil tip width stream of water for this method.

How to identify where water comes into the house:
Your main water supply enters below the water meter. The water meter is often located in a well room or an unfinished area of your basement. Below is an example of what you're looking for.

water service line

Identifying a frozen water line:
  • No running water anywhere in the house, typically noticed in the morning or when returning from work.
  • Your supply line and master shut off valves are open.
  • Extremely cold weather!
If you have a frozen water service line and do not have running water, you should:
  • Contact the City of Richfield Public Works at 612-861-9170 (during regular business hours only, 7am-3pm.)
  • If line is frozen use a space heater or hair dryer to slowly warm the area where the water line enters your home. Do not use a blowtorch!
  • Call a qualified contractor that specializes in thawing frozen water service lines.