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How to protect your pipes from freezing during bitter cold temperatures

Posted at 11:27 PM, Jan 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-22 00:27:01-05

With brutally cold temperatures expected in the next coming days, pipes are at risk of freezing because of sudden temperature drops and poor insulation. AAA offers some advice on how to prevent your pipes from freezing and what to do if you pipes happen to freeze.

Here's what to do to prevent frozen pipes:

  • Make sure everyone in the house knows where to shut off the water and how it works.
  • Consider allowing warm water to drip slightly overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall. Even a slight trickle may keep your pipes from freezing.
  • In the case where a freeze is a possibility, don't turn the thermostat down at bedtime, keep it at the same level you have it during the day.
  • Open cabinet doors, which will allow heat to reach uninsulated pipes located under the sink.
  • Seal leaks around pipes that allow cold air inside. Check for air leaks around clothes dryer vents and pipes.

What do if your pipes do freeze:

  • If you turn on your faucets and no water comes out, they are likely frozen.
  • You may be able to use your air dryer to thaw a frozen pipe. Warm the section of the pipe closest to the faucet, then work your way out toward the coldest part of the pipe.
  • Never try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flames.
  • If your water pipes have already burst, turn off the water from the main valve, leave the water faucets on and call a plumber.

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