According to State Farm Insurance, an average of a quarter-million families have their homes ruined and their lives disrupted each winter due to the freezing and bursting of pipes.
"Taking some simple precautions can save you the expense as well as the time of repairing burst pipes," said Mary Kennedy Thompson, president of Mr. Rooter Corporation. "The best way to prevent frozen pipes is to winterize your plumbing system."
To help keep frozen pipes from being a drain on your wallet, here is a series of tips for homeowners to use when preventing or dealing with a frozen pipe scenario.
To prevent your pipes from freezing:
• Cover faucets and exposed pipes with insulation, or wrap them with thick towels.
• Open cabinet doors. This allows heat to circulate and keeps interior pipes warm.
• Keep faucets running--a small trickle of water/constant drip is recommended.
• Secure basement doors, windows and crawl space openings.
• Remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets.
• Open outside hose taps so water can drain.
• Apply electrically-powered heat tape. (Follow manufacturer's instructions or call a plumber.)
Homeowners should also locate the main water shut-off valve, and learn how to use it. This can come in handy if pipes freeze and burst.
To safely thaw frozen pipes:
• Turn off the water at the shut-off valve.
• Open the nearest faucet. This allows water to drain out as the ice melts.
• Heat the exterior of the pipe with a hair dryer. Apply heat slowly and don't keep heat in one spot.
• Do not attempt to thaw exposed frozen pipes with an open flame, such as an acetylene torch.
If immediate assistance or repairs are needed, it is recommended that you call a qualified plumber. By following these prevention tips, hopefully your pipes will remain unfrozen and usable throughout the entire winter season.
Source: Mr. Rooter
Published with permission from RISMedia.