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Protecting Your Pipes When the Mercury Drops

Take steps now to prevent your home’s pipes from freezing. Pipes can freeze due to sudden drops in temperature, poor insulation, drafts (broken windows or doors) or thermostats set too low.

Preventative Steps – What You Can Do Now

  • Insulate pipes in your home’s basement, crawl spaces and attic.
  • Seal leaks around pipes that allow cold air inside. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes. Use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out.
  • Disconnect garden hoses. If possible, use an indoor valve to shut off the drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets.
  • If a freeze is expected, let warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall.
  • Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to uninsulated pipes under sinks and to appliances near exterior walls.

If Your Pipes Freeze

  • If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, leave the faucets turned on and call a plumber.
  • Do not use electrical appliances in areas of standing water.
  • Never try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame. It could cause a fire.
  • You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe with warm air from a hair dryer. Start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, working toward the coldest section of pipe.
  • If your water pipes have burst, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve in the house. Leave the water faucets turned on.

***Make sure EVERYONE in the family knows where the water shutoff valve is and how to open and close it.***

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Winter Precautions