How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

As temperatures start to drop below freezing, it’s time to start preparing your facility for frozen pipes. In this article we share what causes pipes to freeze, as well as prevention tips to reduce the chances of frozen pipes that can burst in your facility. Taking preventive steps now can save you from major headaches later!

Did you know that frozen pipes that burst are one of the most common causes of property damage during cold weather? It can cause thousands of dollars in repairs, along with major problems for facility managers and maintenance personnel. It’s worthwhile to try and eradicate the problem before it occurs.

What Causes Pipes to Freeze?

  1. 1. Lack of insulation. Pipes that are exposed and unprotected are more susceptible to freezing.  Cold water and refrigeration lines can produce condensation which can also freeze.
  1. 2. Cold Spaces. Some areas within a facility are cooler than others. Basements, exterior walls, closets, storage areas, crawl spaces, remote areas used less often, and of course buildings that are currently closed due to the pandemic are all places that are likely to have lower temperatures.
  1. 3. Lack of Water Circulation. If pipes do not have water regularly circulating through them, it increases the likelihood that they will freeze. This can happen to both water supply and drainage pipes that have water sitting in them for long periods of time.

Avoid dealing with freezing pipes and all of the headaches that come with them by preparing your facility for winter. Read our frozen pipe prevention tips below, and take all of the steps you can to make sure your facility is ready for fierce winter weather. There is no such thing as being overly prepared when it comes to prepping your facility for winter and below freezing temperatures. 

Frozen Pipe Prevention Tips

  • Complete a walk-through of your facility to identify cold areas in the building. Resolve any issues causing cold air leaks. This includes adding weather stripping to doors and windows, insulating walls, closing off crawl spaces, etc.
  • This will decrease the chances of pipes freezing in that area, and also lower your energy bills.
  • Cover pipes in cold areas with insulation. Also, insulate pipes that have water sitting in them for long periods of time, since lack of circulation can lead to pipes freezing. See our insulation tape below for an effective solution.
  • Check all shutoff valves and levers to make sure they are in proper working order. Replace if needed.
  • Always have repair parts and supplies on hand. See below for some great pipe repair items. Ensure that all staff knows the location of these items.
  • Protect your water meter and the pipes leading to it. Make sure all exposed pipes are well insulated. This is a great area to use electrical heat tracing wire. Make sure the meter pit lid is closed tightly. Leave any snow that falls on it, since snow will actually act as insulation. 
  • Keep heat at or above 55°F or winterize facilities that are closed.
  • Create a plan that clearly describes what to do if a pipe bursts. Educate all staff on the plan, and make sure there is always someone on hand who is capable of executing it. Affirm that they all know where the main water shut-off is located, and how to turn it off.
  • Inspect all of your water pipes on a regular basis. Look for any signs of leaks or fatigue that could cause them to fail when the temperature drops below freezing.

We carry all of the parts needed to prepare your facility for winter weather and frozen pipes. See the list of our most popular pipe repair items below, or give us a call to find any other winterizing gear you need. 

View our Line Card to learn which manufacturers we carry. We have more pipe repair parts than we list in this article or on our website.

Ridgid EZ Change Faucet Tool

Ridgid’s EZ Change Faucet Tool makes the installation and removal of common faucets and sink strainers easier than ever before.

This multi-purpose under sink plumbing tool is designed to be used for a variety of common plumbing tasks. Plumbers and maintenance persons can work faster and more efficiently when removing and installing items under the sink. The EZ Change Faucet Tool from Ridgid can be used on supply lines, supply stops, fittings, strainers, nuts, and all items that are often in hard to reach places for sink repairs.

faucet installation tool

The tool includes two metal inserts. One is a cube-shaped insert for hex nuts, supply line nuts, and supply stops. The other is a double-ended cylindrical insert with socket connections, a hex for wrenches, and slots for sink strainers. Together, these features perform specific tasks like turning angle stops, removing strainers that won’t budge, tightening or loosening faucet spray holders and mounting nuts, and more. It’s easy to see how innovative and thoughtful this tool is. Read on to learn more about all the things the EZ Change Faucet Tool can do.

Under the sink faucet tool

The EZ Change Faucet Tool features so many clever uses packed into one that we break up the features of each part of it below, starting with the orange plastic body of the tool itself, then moving onto the inserts. 


Cube Shaped Insert (Left) =, Plastic Tool (Center), and Cylindrical Insert (Right)

Plastic Tool

Features:

  • Lightweight, high-strength material makes this tool easy to handle, especially in hard to reach locations like under and behind the sink.  
  • Its length makes it easier to reach mounting nuts on faucets and sprayers.
  • The open slot along the length of the tool allows it to wrap around supply lines that would normally be in the way of other tools.
  • The body is designed to use the inserts, and store them at the same time.
  • If you remove the cylindrical insert, the notched ends of the plastic body can engage 2, 3, 4, and 6 tab basin nuts. 

Cube Shaped Insert

Ridgid faucet repair tool

The cube-shaped insert features use on all sides. The shut off valve side of this insert is designed to turn hard-to-reach angle stops, and do so without marring the chrome. The other sides are designed to fit ⅝, ¾, ⅞, and 1-inch hex nuts and supply line nuts. The open slot of the plastic body comes in handy when using the cubed insert because it can be slipped over connected supply lines. 


Cylindrical Insert 

Ridgid tool for basket strainers

The cylindrical insert is a double-ended tool that has hexes and sockets, as well as slots for basket strainers. There is also a hole to insert a screwdriver for extra turning power.

Cylindrical Insert Features:

  • 3 and 4 slot sink strainer baskets
  • ⅜” socket connection
  • Socket for ⅝” hex nuts
  • 1-⅛” hex for use with a wrench
  •  Hole to insert a screwdriver for extra torque on tough nuts

Innovative Design Feature:

Ridgid hex nut tool

When you come across nuts that will not budge, the hole in the cylindrical insert is designed so that it will fit your one-stop wrench or screwdriver to provide the extra leverage needed to loosen tough nuts.


Ridgid EZ Change Tool

Save, Share, or Download the Ridgid EZ Change Faucet Tool Opener Product Spotlight PDF.


Where to Buy The EZ Change Faucet Tool

Call to order Ridgid’s EZ Change Faucet Tool. Mention Part #38631 when ordering. Bulk orders may qualify for discount pricing.

Toll-Free: 800-442-6622 / Pittsburgh: 412-781-9100

View it on our website


Ridgid Faucet Tool FAQ’s

Q: Will this tool work on all faucets? 
A: For the most part yes, most faucets that use mounting nuts use common nut sizes. There are slots to accommodate various tab nuts.

Q: Is this tool made to remove frozen nuts? 
A: The tool is made to meet common nut torque requirements.

Q: What is the maximum nut size on the tool? 
A: 1-inch