Preventing pipes from freezing or bursting in Korea


Every year a common problem that I hear about is pipes freezing or bursting. Korean winters can be brutally cold! Imagine going a week or longer without water due to frozen pipes! 

To prevent this let’s go over some things:

  1. For the months of December – February when not at home always leave your boiler ON to the lowest setting especially if the weather is below: 0° degrees Celsius (32° Fahrenheit for Americans)
  2. Leave the water dripping in the kitchen sink OR bathroom. Preferably luke warm setting
  3. Cover your boiler which is usually located outside your apartment with foil or wrap around with a thick old blanket (which is what I did) You can buy foil from DAISO!

Here are some basic boiler settings translated for you:

온돌: floor heating – no hot water

실내: indoors/ inside – floor and water gets heated

예약: appointment / reservation – you can set the ondol to only stay on for a set amount of time, which you can control with arrow buttons or a dial

외출: going out


Korean-Canadian. Living in Seoul, Korea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *