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May 17 2021 12:00 am

Cold snap brings reminder of steps to avoid frozen pipes and costly repair bills

Weather Blog

(WOWK) – With overnight lows dropping into the 20 degree range and even colder in some areas, it’s time to remember strategies that might save you hundreds of dollars from frozen pipe damage.

Avoid frozen pipes during the cold season to save repair bills

A reminder release from American Water Company gives people lots of ideas. All of the tips below in bullet points are from American Water.

First: know how your water supply is set up at your house.

  • Check sprinkler or irrigation systems. Make sure you have turned everything off and fully drained systems.
  • Identify your home’s freezing points. Check your home for pipes in areas that may be prone to freezing, such as crawl spaces, unheated rooms, basements, garages and exterior walls.
  • Know the location of the main water shut-off valve. If a pipe freezes or bursts, shut off water immediately.
  • Protect your pipes and water meters. Customers are encouraged to wrap exposed pipes with insulation. For outside meters, keep the lid to the meter pit closed tightly. 

Then when air temperatures begin to drop well below freezing, take steps in your home to lower the risk of the pipes freezing:

  • Run the water. Allow a small trickle of water to run overnight to keep pipes from freezing. Consider collecting the water for later use such as watering indoor plants and more. The cost of a short-term trickle is much less costly than a repair to a burst pipe.
  • Open cabinet doors to expose pipes. Opening cabinet doors exposes pipes to warmer room temperatures.

If the pipes do freeze, immediately shut off the water supply. Then you can apply heat.

Apply heat to the frozen pipe by warming the air around it. Customers can use a hair dryer, space heater or hot water. Space heaters should not be left unattended, and customers should avoid using kerosene heaters or open flames.

Knowing these steps and checking, or having someone else check your water supply while you are away, can save you big money by avoiding a large repair and cleanup bill.

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