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Keep Water Pipes Flowing this Winter
December 4, 2013
Keep Pipes Flowing This Winter!
Water expands as it freezes, and this expansion can cause pipes to leak or break. Pipes that freeze are usually hose bibs, sprinkler lines, or any exposed outside pipes. Before the onset of freezing weather, here are ways to protect your water lines:
- Insulate exposed water pipes by installing foam pipe sleeves that you can find at the local hardware store.
- Remove, drain and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside hose bibs open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
Pipes Freeze? Thaw Them Safely
If it was a freezing night and only a trickle of water comes out in the morning, suspect a frozen pipe. First, locate the frozen area of the water pipe - likely places include pipes running against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
- Keep the faucet open as you treat the frozen pipe; as the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area.
- Apply heat to the frozen section of pipe using an electric hair dryer (be careful of using appliances around areas of water!). Do not use an open flame or open flame device.
- Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, the frozen area is not accessible, or you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
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