You turn the handle, but strangely, no water flows out of the faucet. Not even a trickle. This, of course, could indicate any number of plumbing issues. But if temperatures outdoors are dipping toward the lower end of the spectrum, chances are you have frozen pipes. Remember, when temperatures plunge, frozen pipes and subsequent bursting are major risks. On the positive side, there are ways to keep these important channels of water flow from freezing up. In fact, even if you don't catch pipes before they go into deep freeze, you still can thaw them before they burst. But speed is of the essence. Here's what to do:
Make sure at least a trickle of water is always running from your faucets. Liquid in motion is much more resistant to freezing. Think of a creek vs. a pond in frigid conditions. Which one will turn to ice first? Right.
Keep exposed pipes warm with a heat lamp or portable heating device.
Get those un-insulated pipes insulated. You can do this by wrapping the unprotected pipes with newspapers, heating wires, foam, or self-adhesive insulating tape.
Locate the main shutoff valve, switch off the water, and open the faucet closest to the frozen pipe, allowing the liquid to drain while thawing.
Working from the faucet to the iced area, gradually warm the frozen pipe with one of the following : propane torch equipped with flame-spreading-nozzle; hair dryer used as a makeshift torch; heating pad wrapped around a section of pipe; heat lamp for pipes located behind walls, floors, or ceilings (hold a minimum of 8 inches from pipe surface); boiling water poured on frozen section of pipes, which have been wrapped in rags. (use as last resort).
As a precaution, it's a good idea to cover any nearby flammable surfaces with a fireproof material. And always make certain you prevent the pipes you're working on from getting too hot.