Protecting Your Pipes From The Freeze

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frozen water pipes aren't life threatening, however frozen or broken water pipes do cause damage to homes each winter. If pipes in the walls aren't properly insulated; they can freeze and rupture.

An eighth-of-an-inch crack in a pipe can release up to 250 gallons of water a day, soaking floors, rugs, and furniture.

To prevent the mess and aggravation frozen pipes cause, protect your home or apartment by following the simple steps below:

BEFORE THE COLD WEATHER

  • class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; COLOR: black; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-list: l11 level1 lfo5; tab-stops: list .5in">Locate and insulate pipes most susceptible to freezing-- typically those near outer walls, in crawl spaces, or in the attic. Insulation made especially for this purpose is available.
  • class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; COLOR: black; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-list: l11 level1 lfo5; tab-stops: list .5in">Wrap pipes with heat tape (UL approved).
  • class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; COLOR: black; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-list: l11 level1 lfo5; tab-stops: list .5in">Seal any leaks that allow cold air inside where pipes are located.
  • class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; COLOR: black; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-list: l11 level1 lfo5; tab-stops: list .5in">Disconnect garden hoses and, shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This reduces the chance of freezing in the short span of pipe just inside the house.

DURING THE COLD WEATHER

  • class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; COLOR: black; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-list: l4 level1 lfo6; tab-stops: list .5in">Let hot and cold water trickle at night from a faucet on an outside wall.
  • class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; COLOR: black; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-list: l4 level1 lfo6; tab-stops: list .5in">Open cabinet doors to allow more heat to get to uninsulated pipes under a sink or appliance near an outer wall.
  • class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; COLOR: black; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-list: l4 level1 lfo6; tab-stops: list .5in">Make sure heat is left on and set no lower than 55 degrees.
  • class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; COLOR: black; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-list: l4 level1 lfo6; tab-stops: list .5in">If you plan to be away: (1) Have someone check your house daily to make sure the heat is still on to prevent freezing, or (2) drain and shut off the water system (except indoor sprinkler systems).

IF YOUR PIPES FREEZE

  • class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; COLOR: black; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-list: l9 level1 lfo7; tab-stops: list .5in">Make sure you and your family know how to shut off the water, in case pipes burst. Stopping the flow of water can minimize the damage to your home. Call a plumber and contact your insurance agent.
  • class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; COLOR: black; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-list: l9 level1 lfo7; tab-stops: list .5in">Never try to thaw a pipe with an open flame or torch.
  • class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; COLOR: black; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-list: l9 level1 lfo7; tab-stops: list .5in">Always be careful of the potential for electric shock in and around standing water.