Subzero temperatures can cause even interior pipes to freeze.
When water freezes it expands in volume by about 9 percent. The pressure inside pipes may go from 40 psi to 40,000 psi… so the pipe breaks open at a weak point. Burst pipes are one of the most common causes of property damage during frigid weather, costing thousands in water damage. Before cold weather sets in:
- Know how to shut off your water. Locate your main water shut-off valve.
- Make sure your sprinkler system is turned off and fully drained.
- Identify pipes that might be prone to freezing… (crawl spaces, unheated rooms, basements, garages, exterior walls).
- Close off crawl spaces, repair drafty windows, insulate walls and attics, eliminate drafts around doors.
- Where pipes are exposed, wrap them with insulation or heat tape.
- Keep the heat in your home at a minimum of 55o Fahrenheit.
- Allow drips from faucets overnight to relieve pressure.
- Disconnect all outside hoses.
When Pipes Do Freeze
- Shut off your water at the main shut-off valve.
- Call Your Plumber.
- Keep faucets open to relieve pressure.
- Turn up the heat.
- Open cabinet doors so warm air can reach pipes under sinks.
- You can melt frozen water in pipes by warming the air around it with a hairdryer or space heater. Do not leave space heaters unattended and avoid the use of kerosene heaters. DO NOT USE AN OPEN FLAME.
- Once pipes are thawed, slowly turn the water back on and check pipes and joints for any cracks or leaks caused by freezing.
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