Protect Your Pipes
We're into the coldest part of winter right now, and if you live in an area where there's a chance of a prolonged deep freeze, you'll want to know how to prevent your pipes from bursting!
If you're lucky enough to be planning a sunny escape from the cold or even a quick getaway for a couple of nights, it's even more important to tend to your pipes before you leave. Here are some tips:
- If the temperature is going to plunge overnight, turn on your faucets so that water drips at a slow but steady rate, about five drips per minute. This allows water to keep moving through your system and discourage the freezing process.
- If you'll be away from home for an extended period of time, you'll want to consider completely shutting off your main water valve.
- Before you leave, turn the heat down to 60°F/16°C, and open any cabinet doors covering plumbing in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room. This will allow warm air to come in and contact with the exposed piping, to discourage freezing.
If your pipes have already frozen but haven't yet burst, turn off the water immediately. Wrap the pipes in hot towels or even pour boiling water on top of towel-wrapped pipes to help loosen the ice inside and get water flowing. The services of a hairdryer can also help defrost the pipes.