Tips for preventing frozen pipes


When temperatures drop to single digits, there's a risk of pipes freezing.

When the weather forecast calls for temperatures well below freezing, let faucets drip slowly, since moving water in pipes won't freeze.

-If your pipes do freeze, be sure to turn off the water supply to avoid damage.

If you have water one day and not the next, you most likely have frozen pipes.

Experts said throughout the winter people should always have cases of water in case of an emergency.

Pipes in unheated areas of a building, such as a crawlspace or a basement, have the greatest chance of freezing.

Keep the heat on: if you're going to be away from home for an extended period of time, make sure your thermostat is not set lower than 55 degrees.

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They advise keeping outside doors closed that lead into areas where water pipes are, such as crawl spaces and attic openings.

And if you have a neighbor who's out of town for the winter or a house in the neighborhood that's vacant, keep an eye out for water coming out from under doors or any unusual frost buildup on the inside of windows. Sub-freezing temperatures can cause aging water mains to break and cause water to cover roadways.

Insulating pipes on the perimeter of your home, where they are most susceptible to the cold, is another way to keep pipes thawed out. Don't use an open flame or an electric arc welder to thaw frozen water lines.

You can apply heat to the frozen section of a pipe by using either an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe or an electric hair driver or a portable space heater.

If you suspect your water meter or service line is frozen, you should call your local utility department to assess the situation.

As you make travel plans for New Year's, Mihalko suggests leaving your home prepared for the cold.