With winter comes cold, and with cold, often comes frozen pipes.
Frozen pipes can sometimes burst, causing major damage to a home, but there are several steps homeowners can take to avoid the problem. To prevent pipes from freezing, the following tips can be useful:
The first sign of freezing pipes is reduced water flow from faucets. Some steps to monitor freezing conditions include:
If a pipe has frozen inside of a home, using a good hair dryer can help to thaw it, but it should not be operated around standing water due to the risk of electrocution. Heating water on the stove and soaking towels in the hot water, then wrapping them around cold sections of the pipe can also work. Always start thawing pipes closest to the faucet and make sure the faucet is turned on so melted water can drip out.
If a pipe does burst, the water should be shut off at the main valve. If the pipe is used for hot water, the valve on the top of the water heater should be closed. A plumber should then be called.
It is best to know the location of the main water valve and the valve on the water heater for quick access in case of an emergency.
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