Now that we’re in the thick of winter, I thought I’d share a few tips for keeping your pipes flowing smoothly during the colder months.
To prevent pipes from freezing…
1. When freezing temps are forecasted, let cold water slowly drip through faucets served by exposed pipes. This is especially important if your kitchen sink is on an outside wall of your home.
2. Wrap your pipes, especially those in an unheated garage or attic, with heat tape or thermostatically controlled heat cables.
3. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to help warm circulate around those pipes. You could also position a space heater near your open cabinet.
If your pipes *do* freeze, here are a few extra tips…
1. Keep the faucet open so that thawed ice can escape the pipe.
2. Apply heat to the frozen pipe using an electric heating pad, hair dryer, or portable space heater. You can also use a towel soaked in hot water. Do NOT use a blowtorch, kerosene, or propane heater!
3. Call a plumber who can use a special device to thaw your pipe slowly. If they thaw too quickly they may burst.
Finally, if you think you have had a pipe burst (and you’ll definitely know it, because water will be rushing from the ceiling!) turn your water main off and call a plumber immediately.
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