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How to Prevent Burst Pipes

Know the fastest way to go from “peaceful snowy winter morning” to “what in the bleepity bleep bleep is happening”? Discover a burst pipe.

You have to:

  • Find the pipe.
  • Try to remember where the heck the water shut-off valve is.
  • Clean up the mess.
  • Figure out how to fix the problem.
  • Explain to your kids why their long-anticipated family sledding adventure has to be postponed. 

It can take so much time, energy, and money to repair a frozen or burst pipe. So here’s the best thing to do: Avoid it in the first place.

What causes burst pipes?

Pipes typically freeze when the temperature around the pipe is below 20 degrees. When water gets that cold, it freezes and expands, which increases the pressure in your pipes, causing them to burst. This means unheated spaces are more vulnerable—think basements, attics, and garages. But even pipes under your cabinets can freeze and burst, especially if they’re on an exterior wall! 

There’s good news, though: Your pipes might already be prepared to face the cold temps. It all depends on just how extreme the weather is, the age of your home, the age of your pipes, and any upgrades you’ve made. No matter what your situation, we want to help.

Check out these top 8 tips to prevent burst pipes:

#1 Don’t forget your garden hoses. 

As you’re getting your home ready for winter, take an extra couple of minutes to fully drain and disconnect all exterior hoses. Any leftover water in the hose can freeze and expand, which can cause a burst at the point of connection between your hose and the pipes leading into your home.

#2 Do some DIY insulating. 

Products like pipe insulation or heat tape can warm your pipes throughout the coldest winter nights. Your local hardware store will carry foam insulation you can easily cut with a utility knife and wrap around your pipes. If you want to go a little more high-tech, heat tape may be your solution. But that stuff can be tricky, so call us first. 

#3 Keep your garage doors closed. 

Keeping your garage doors closed is especially important if you have supply lines in there.

#4 Keep your faucets running. 

When it’s reaaaaaally cold outside, you should always keep one or two faucets dripping with cold water. The water moving through your pipes will prevent the lines from freezing and bursting. Sure, that’ll raise your water bill a tiny bit. But it’s cheaper than a burst pipe!

#5 Leave your cabinet doors open. 

Since cold temperatures are the primary cause of burst pipes, you might be tempted to think your indoor, under-the-cabinet lines are safe. But not as much warm air reaches them as you might think! Open your cabinet doors to direct more warm air toward your pipes. And don’t forget to remove any hazardous cleaning supplies from under the sinks. An ER visit is definitely not the holiday activity your family needs!

#6 Look out for leaks. 

Take a look at your pipes to identify any problem areas. Look for loose connections, leaks, cracks—anything that makes the line vulnerable. This is also the perfect time to seal any leaks that bring cold air into your home. Take a look at your electrical wiring, dryer vents, pipes, and around doors and windows. Even a teeny-tiny opening can let in enough cold air to burst your pipes. 

#7 Keep your furnace going. 

A small rise in your heating costs isn’t as expensive as a burst pipe. Always keep the thermostat set higher than 55 degrees, even when you’re not home. Your pipes will thank you.

#8 Consider your pipes in your vacation planning. 

If you’re going away for the holidays, shut off the water to your home at the main valve. Without a water supply, your pipes are much less likely to freeze and burst!

Bonus Tip: Call us! 

We’re your Columbia plumbing pros. We can help identify, prevent, and fix any potential disasters before they happen. Give us a call today!

Tyson was excellent!! He was patient working with the various options and being candid about the costs of each. Not in a rush. Very personable. Very professional. We have had similar experiences with other techs sent to us. Came within an hour of the call. I think Master Tech pricing is a bit high, but all of the above make it worth it.
Ron Sergent
Ron Sergent
16:52 15 Jan 21
Jon and Josh were so helpful, took care of my issue in what seemed like no time, and left me with the peace of mind that the issue was resolved. Their fix is working out perfectly and I would be more then happy to have them out again (hopefully not since no one hopes for plumbing issues 😅) if I have any other issues. Well done gents!
Daniel Smith
Daniel Smith
18:32 07 Jan 21
Water heater wouldn’t stay lit. Called MasterTech, after calling a couple other plumbers I knew (right before Christmas). Got no answer from the others, but MT answered the first try, and set up an appointment then and there. Chad came out, and cleaned up the old water heater to see how it worked before just replacing it. If need to replace, the cost of the first visit goes toward. I’m happy to say, I have hot water for the holidays! Thanks so much Chad for your friendly professionalism, and effective work.
chas baer
chas baer
18:03 30 Dec 20
We have always had good experiences using Mastertech Plumbing. Recently had them replace a faucet. Then we had to have a water heater replaced that was in a very difficult space. A special thanks to Josh for getting a very difficult job done extremely well. I would highly recommend.
Eric Burton
Eric Burton
18:18 19 Dec 20
Great job! Ryan was professional, hard working, thought the process out. Very determined to get us back to flowing sewer service! We have a real problem and they responded immediately with options and costs. Look forward to continuing to do business with you!
randy mathes
randy mathes
20:50 09 Dec 20
Andrew came on time. Very nice young man. Actually early, two hours before expected. Had drain open, lickety split. Thanks Jerry for approving my $50 off coupon, from the last time you guys came out. Probably five years ago. Lucky I had the coupon; for I was charged after hours rates, though he arrived at 1530 pm? No biggie, I like my hot showers.
D. 4Tay
D. 4Tay
18:52 30 Nov 20
We would like to commend the folks at MasterTech for their excellent service to our family last week. We had a couple of routine procedures scheduled and fulfilled during the day. One of them presented a challenge, but Chad saw it through until he was satisfied that it was running well. Later on that night, a major problem suddenly occurred with a different part of the plumbing system: a pipe burst and water flooded the bathroom, sending a stream of water into one of the bedrooms and soaking most of the carpeting. After failing to be able to control the situation ourselves, we made a panicky call to MasterTech, whereupon the woman who answered offered assurance and got help on the way. Nate arrived and immediately went about shutting off the water flow, repairing the problem, keeping us informed, and making sure everything was secure. We are dealing with the aftermath (clean up, new carpeting), but wouldn’t be in as good a position as we are without the as-prompt-as-possible emergency service, professional abilities, and customer care exhibited by the MasterTech people we dealt with that day. Thank you all for your commitment to a job well done and a true concern for your customers! --David and Candy Megahan
Candy Megahan
Candy Megahan
18:23 18 Nov 20
Josh from MasterTech came by to repair a faulty shut off valve on my kitchen sink faucet. After a discussion we decided to replace the entire kitchen faucet (installed in 2004) since it leaked and was installed backwards with new shut off valves as well as replace the shutoff valve to the dishwasher. What a professional job he did! Josh is a very personable guy that helped make his visit memorable. Great job Josh!I will be highly recommend MasterTech for your plumbing needs.
John Beaumonte
John Beaumonte
19:02 15 Nov 20
My technician was professional and gave me confidence that the job would be done correctly! The work was completed quickly and with expertise. I was very impressed with the response time and the work completed!
Lindsey VeVerka
Lindsey VeVerka
13:14 06 Nov 20
Surprisingly fast service. I called them and they had the technicians in my place within 20 minutes. They soon located a replacement for my 18 years old water heater that is not worthy to repair and switched everything within a little over two hours. Professional and reasonable price in my opinion.
Shengyu Wan
Shengyu Wan
17:17 05 Nov 20
Andrew was wonderful working through the night to repair our pipe so we could get our water back on. He was friendly and knowledgeable! I will be recommending them to all my family and friends!
Faith Truesdell
Faith Truesdell
19:19 17 Oct 20
I had a leaky kitchen faucet that needed to be repaired and in the process my service tech Devin discovered a damaged valve that also needed to be replaced and my main shut off valve was also leaking and needed to be repaired. He got everything done in one day. Devin was very friendly and efficient. It was a pleasure doing business with him and MasterTech.
Elena Seon
Elena Seon
05:10 02 Oct 20
We needed sink hooked up, garbage disposal installed and, we had a leak in an outside faucet. Josh did it all in one call. He was professional, offered me options to save money and explained everything he was going to do. Great experience. Now, I am a loyal customer!
Lorry Myers
Lorry Myers
02:52 01 Oct 20
Awesome service. Called on a Friday and was told wouldn’t be available until Monday, but then called me right back. They were at my house Within a couple of hours. Highly recommend them for both their professionalism and friendliness.
Jason Huether
Jason Huether
19:55 25 Sep 20
Master Tech's office and work crews are awesome. I had a broken sewer piper, (Josh, Chris, Elliot and Nate), they diagnosed it, priced, it and got it done. Then had drainage issue with HVAC Wyatt and Tyler got it fix and had me on my way in no time. Great work, great pricing, and most importantly great staff. I would recommend for future work in a heartbeat.
Damian Dean
Damian Dean
17:40 25 Sep 20
They provide such outstanding services, I wouldn't call anyone else but them, especially if you want it fixed right. Quality and fast is where Master Tech is at!!Josh and Andrew are very professional and friendly. Loved how they went right to work. I would recommend them to replace gas lines.
Kelly McDaniel
Kelly McDaniel
14:57 21 Sep 20
Devon and Andrew came out and gave me a quote on installing a water softener system. They were very professional and informative on what the cost and process would look like. Would recommend them to anyone!
Megan Miller
Megan Miller
13:23 04 Sep 20
We gave MasterTech a call on a drain line issue. The technician (Tyson) came out promptly and was very professional. He diagnosed the problem quickly and MasterTech was on the job.A company and crew that provides this high a level of customer service is a rarity today. We will definitely use them again (if ever needed) and would certainly recommend.
Chuck Kubba
Chuck Kubba
20:28 28 Aug 20
Mastertech is awesome! I needed my water heater and bathtub faucet looked at. Devin and Nate were so great. They answered all my dumb questions without making me feel stupid and gave me so many options to solving my plumbing issues. I will be using Mastertech to install a new water heater soon! Thanks Devin and Nate!
Kelsey Mescher
Kelsey Mescher
16:18 18 Aug 20
Devon and Nate were extremely professional helping me deal with a leaking water heater. They explained my options and helped me come up with a plan to address the issues. Will definitely be calling MasterTech for future plumbing and HVAC needs.
Charles Mullen
Charles Mullen
19:11 17 Aug 20
Excellent service—squeezed me in a day early—friendly, mask wearing, felt safe and secure!
A Sergel
A Sergel
21:33 11 Aug 20
We found a leak underneath our kitchen sink and was not able to turn the water off. A MasterTech technician was there within an hour. He was courteous and professional and gave us a couple of repair options. Everything he needed, he had with him and the new valves were installed quickly and he was gone. Great repair experience!
Lorry Myers
Lorry Myers
21:01 27 Jul 20
Technician was timely, professional and courteous. He made sure I understood what was going on. And how best to move forward
Zane Whorton
Zane Whorton
19:15 16 Jul 20
Tyson was incredibly kind and helpful. He came out on a Sunday to help with a stubborn shower cartridge. I would recommend him to anyone needing plumbing help!
Courtney Jorgenson
Courtney Jorgenson
16:21 14 Jul 20
Very prompt, efficient, polite, and professional. Knowledgeable of needs and recommendations fit my circumstances. Thanks!
Nathan Mozingo
Nathan Mozingo
18:02 13 Jul 20
Master Tech replaced my ac/heating unit a couple of years ago and we have been very pleased with the follow-up checkup services we receive. Always very professional!
Joanne Nelson
Joanne Nelson
19:57 10 Jul 20
Tyson was very helpful and gave us advice for the future on how to save a little money with a project. We were very happy with him and his advice.
Wesley Dahms
Wesley Dahms
19:17 10 Jul 20
Josh Burleson installed our Home Depot purchased water softener. He was on time for the appointment, very professional and addressed all our questions. He was very neat in his work and cleanup. We would highly recommend calling MasterTech and Josh for all your needs.
Bette Everman
Bette Everman
22:48 29 Jun 20
Professional, personable and informative! I am on their yearly Check-Up plan for heating and cooling. Great price for a GREAT service.
Dorsey Ragland
Dorsey Ragland
17:55 29 Jun 20
Devon W. was a pleasure to work with. Efficient, clean, knowledgeable. Happy to have me sit with him while he worked so I could ask random plumbing questions that have always intrigued me. Highly recommend this business and Devin!
Pete Goodman
Pete Goodman
19:17 18 Jun 20
Chad arrived promptly when I was notified he was in route to my house. He was very friendly and professional and keeping social distancing practices. He was able to give options to get the result I needed. The cost was lower than what I had in mind and was completed in about an hour.I felt bad for him because it was hot and humid today (about 90) and the issue was outside of the house in direct sun...I set up a patio umbrella to cast some shade on him while he worked.Thanks again Chad! I will be calling MasterTech Plumbing for any other plumbing issues that arise!
Alen Petty
Alen Petty
18:22 03 Jun 20
Isaac and Alex removed a dead snake from my AC unit. They were professional and kind with a great sense of humor given the situation. They checked everything out to ensure it ran correctly and gave me an upfront price. I was quite satisfied.
Katie Ensign
Katie Ensign
17:54 01 Jun 20
Josh was so awsome! I had a "simple" leak in my faucet. He got the parts from his truck and fixed it like new, which is saying a lot as this faucet is over 10 years old. Very knowledgeable and friendly!
Betsy Kuhn
Betsy Kuhn
22:24 28 May 20
We had a great experience with Mastertech Plumbing from the time we made the phone call to request service. Our plumber Tyson was friendly, knowledgeable & professional. I would highly recommend this company & him for any plumbing needs.
Jamie Hogan
Jamie Hogan
17:40 22 May 20
I had a clogged drain that needed professional assistance. MasterTech was able to get Devin out to my house to fix our issue in record time. Devin was great and very professional and made sure the issue was fixed, the work area was clean and that I was satisfied with his work before he left. I highly recommend MasterTech.
Jeffery James
Jeffery James
17:01 08 May 20
When I called, the phone was answered by a pleasant service representative that remembered me and was understanding to my immediate need. MasterTech Plumbing tech Chad was very professional and friendly. He kept me informed of all what was wrong and didn’t try to up sell anything. I really appreciate Chad’s skillful knowledge. The quality of his work is exceptional. I know I can rely on Chad and MasterTech Plumbing.
Angela Hernandez
Angela Hernandez
02:12 08 Apr 20
The service we received today was awesome! Punctual, efficient, and up front and honest about prices and what products that we needed. Excellent work.
Cole Stoecklein
Cole Stoecklein
14:52 18 Mar 20
Josh is great! He is the one who usually comes to our house. He installed an overhead tank toilet, which is a tricky and time-consuming job. He overcame many obstacles and stuck with it until the job was completed and done right. Price was also good. MasterTech has always taken care of all our needs in a prompt and professional manner. Emergency service has always been rapid too.
Michael Lewis
Michael Lewis
17:24 11 Mar 20
Chris was great. Dispatch was great. We were scheduled quickly. Prices were very competitive. Edit: We had great success having our pipes fixed. Due to Missouri weather things were touch and go but Master Tech sure delivered! We are so please with the fix, financing and friendliness Master tech and our technician Chris Gilpin provided us. Will forever and always us Master tech. Certainly mighty nice people
Kimberly Threatt
Kimberly Threatt
01:30 29 Feb 20
We had to have emergency service today, Saturday. A serviceman was here in less than an hour. The repairs were made quickly, the charge was not over the top, even though it was not a work day, and the individual was friendly and courteous. We have learned to expect this kind of service from Master Tech. Thank you.
Barbara Timbrook
Barbara Timbrook
03:48 26 Jan 20
I recommend MasterTech. They show up when they tell you they will show up. They provide a comprehensive estimate and also a good explanation of the work that need to be done. Their work is good quality. They usually have the needed parts on their truck so they can do the task in a timely manner. They clean up the work area after the job is finished,
Dennis Catlett
Dennis Catlett
22:15 23 Jan 20
A great experience. First, on time, service tech was sent out when promised. Second, quick assessment of the problem (faulty sump pump). The tech not only quickly replaced the pump, but he made an alteration that will make it easier whenever a replacement has to be made. Bottom line, a most professional service. Certainly would recommend Master Tech to folks needing their service.
W B Tichenor
W B Tichenor
16:08 31 Dec 19
MasterTech is so great to work with. They're quick, clean, do great work, and have fair pricing. But the best thing about MasterTech is their people. Whoever is responsible for their human resources does a terrific job of selecting and/or training them. They're so friendly and provide excellent information and customer service. I highly recommend MasterTech!
Jason Black
Jason Black
20:37 26 Dec 19
Previously I had not been impressed with master tech. However, their technician Dillon not only fixed my emergency pipe break at 1am on a holiday but also saved me as a customer. This was the best service I have ever had at my home. He arrived promptly at 1am. Provided a couple of options on how to fix my problem both in the short and long term and quickly made repairs. He also has provided advice on how to address issues related to the water damage caused by the busted pipe. This was one of the most positive bad situation we have had as homeowners. Thank you Dillon and mastertech.
Michael Grote
Michael Grote
20:35 26 Dec 19
I had to change my appointment at the last minute and they were able to accommodate my new availability without any hesitation. My tech was really professional (Dillion). I got a call and a text to let me know he was on the way. He fixed my problem quickly and was so friendly. This is the second time that I have had to use a plumber and I will use Master Tech again since I have an old house with old plumbing.
Leigh Burton
Leigh Burton
14:01 22 Nov 19
HVAC and plumbing under one roof, what else do you need?! Great team!
CJ Roe
CJ Roe
02:01 14 Dec 18
HVAC and plumbing under one roof, what else do you need?! Great team!
CJ Roe
CJ Roe
01:06 30 May 18

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