We all know that water expands when it freezes. That’s not a problem with the ice cubes in your freezer, but if that ice forms in your plumbing, it’s a potential disaster. There are certain ‘cold season’ preventative measures that will help preserve a healthy, efficient water system and avoid excessive bills and complete water loss.
When the temperature drops below freezing, water pipes in your home have the potential to rupture, creating an expensive disaster in your home’s basement. The average homeowner’s expense for a pipe rupture is about $15,000, according to State Farm Insurance.
By taking preventive measures before your pipes freeze, you can minimize the risk of a plumbing catastrophe:
• Disconnect outside water hoses.
• Cover outdoor faucets insulation kits found at home repair centers such as Lowe’s or Home Depot.
• If outside faucets are dripping, make the necessary repairs before freezing temperatures arrive.
• If your washing machine is in an unheated garage, turn off water supply lines leading to the appliance and disconnect the hoses.
• Make sure your water heater is working properly.
• Allow a trickle of hot and cold water to run in sinks and bathtubs if their water supply pipes run through outside walls.
• Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets beneath sinks to allow heat to circulate around uninsulated pipes.
• Add insulation wraps to water pipes in unheated areas, such as garages and crawl spaces.
• Apply thermostat-controlled heat cables to unprotected and exposed pipes.
• Set you home thermostat no lower than 45 degrees.
What to do if your pipes have frozen:
• Shut off the main water valve leading into the structure and open indoor faucets to reduce pressure on frozen pipes then call a plumber, plumbers have pipe-thawing equipment to get pipes flowing again.
• If the frozen pipe is exposed and visible, use a hair dryer or space heater to thaw ice blockages, do not use an open flame.
• If you’ve experienced flooding or water damage, contact a certified water cleanup service provider right away to minimize long term damage.
The temperatures are expected to fall as low as 23 degrees on Saturday and 19 degrees on Sunday.