Freezing Temperatures - Pipe Precautions
During these cold winter months it is important to take moment and pre-pare your home for the cold snaps. Your preparedness could save you from thousands of dollars worth of repairs if your pipes were to freeze.
Pipes bust when extremely cold temperatures get around the water pipes long enough to cause them to freeze. Freezing water will cause the water to expand and may bust the pipe or pipe fittings, causing the pipes to leak when the water thaws out!
You will know if your pipes freeze, because you won't be able to get water from the tap.
Here are a few pre-cautions to keep your pipes from freezing.
- Turn off outdoor water faucets. Remove any water hoses. Cover the outdoor water faucets with an insulated faucet cover. You can get these at your hardware store, they are just a couple of bucks each and are very easy to install.
- Keep your heat on inside your home.
- Especially on sinks at water fixtures inside the home that may have pipes running along an exterior wall, keep those cabinet doors open.
- Run a slow drip or stream of COLD water.
- Locate your main water shut off valve. This will be very important to locate in the event you end up with a busted pipe. You will often find this valve in the master bathroom (closet, under sink), or another bathroom/kitchen sink or even in the garage. There will also be a main water shut off to your house, likely at the street and you will need a tool to shut it off. Be prepared and make sure everyone in the house knows where these items are located and when to turn them off if needed.
Great job!! If you have followed these instructions you have drastically reduced the likelihood that your pipes will freeze. But if they do turn the water off, use a heater or hair dryer to warm up the pipe that is frozen. Keep towels and a bucket under the sink to absorb any water if it should burst. Call a plumber to help you if you have a busted water line or if you can not get your plumbing pipe to thaw out.
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