No water at home? Tips for diagnosing + thawing frozen pipes

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Not getting water at your tap? It may be frozen pipes.

Check with a neighbor before calling PWD

Due to the current long stretch of below-freezing temps, many customers are reporting no water at the tap because of frozen pipes - a problem at your home that Water Department crews can't fix.

The extreme cold is impacting water mains too, and our crews are working around the clock to address each main break. If you see a leak on your street, report it right away by calling (215) 685-6300.

If you reported a leak on your street: remove any valuables on your basement floor and consider moving your car until the leak is stopped.

Please share this with your neighbors!

ICYMI: 6 tips to prevent frozen pipes

Steps to take if you don't have water in extreme cold

First, check with a neighbor to see if they’re experiencing the same issue. If they have a loss of water too, it may be the result of a main break.

 But if they have running water, it’s likely your pipes have frozen.

What to do if your pipes freeze:

Thawing pipes


  • Do not apply direct heat to the pipes. If your pipes freeze, use a space heater or hair dryer to heat the area around your meter and pipes.
  • Make sure the faucet is turned on so melting water can drip out.
  • After your pipes have thawed, look to see if your pipes are cracked or damaged and make sure to take necessary precautions to prevent freezing from happening again.
  • Inspect your water meter for damage throughout the winter. If you notice a leaking meter, let us know by calling (215) 685-6300.
  • If you can't thaw your pipes, a licensed plumber might be able to help - just be sure to ask if they offer pipe-thawing services before requesting an appointment! 

If a pipe is damaged:

Shutoff Valve
Use this diagram to find and mark your shut-off valve so you can find it quickly.

Shut off the water at the house-side water supply valve near your water meter. 

If the break is in a hot water pipe, close the valve on top of the water heater. 

Call a licensed and registered plumber to repair the broken pipe.

 What to expect after a reporting a main break