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Protect Your Pipes

Green Shoot Media Published: October 13, 2016 4:00 AM
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Frozen pipes can lead to costly damage and repairs, as well as the inconvenience of being without water until your pipes thaw. After thawing, there is still a chance that your pipes can burst due to expansion.

Depending on where you live, freezing temperatures may be impossible to avoid. As a homeowner, it's up to you to protect your pipes from this expensive issue.

Fall Prevention

No one wants to be crawling under their house or rooting around in an unfinished basement during winter's bitter temperatures. Take some steps during the warmer weather to protect your home's pipes.

The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety recommends that you purchase rubber or foam insulation wrap to slide over pipes in your basement or crawlspace. This will keep your pipes warm during the freezing temperatures, allowing water to flow freely.

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You also can use heat tape. Wrap it around pipes that are at risk of freezing. The only downside is that this tape requires electricity. Check the manufacturer's handbook to see if you can safely use an extension cord if a nearby outlet is unavailable.

Winter Prevention

Your pipes have been wrapped, and you feel confident that you took preventive steps to combat freezing. There are some additional steps you can take to further protect your pipes.

Leave at least one faucet at your home on a slow drip. A dripping faucet will relieve pressure between your faucet and ice blockage when freezing does occur.

The kitchen sink is a good place to run a slow drip. Most sinks have separate spigots for hot and cold water. Make sure both of these are contributing to the drip since they use separate pipes for water. This will protect each pipe.

If Your Pipes Freeze

A frozen water pipe can sometimes be inevitable. If a pipe does freeze, call a local plumber immediately. He can professionally relieve the freeze and repair the damaged pipes, if necessary.

If your pipe actually bursts due to freezing, turn the main water supply off as soon as possible. Before the temperatures dip too low this winter, call your water department and ask them where this main valve is located on your property. Knowing this can save you a lot of money and damage in the case of a freezing emergency.


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