EDMOND, Okla. – We’ve already had a few rounds of arctic air in central Oklahoma, but more may still be on the way this winter.
So, if you haven’t done so already, it’s time to pay attention to your pipes.
It’s important to know how to prevent water pipes from freezing, and how to thaw them if they do freeze.
A little bit of time now can help you avoid the messy and often expensive issue of dealing with frozen pipes.
Before the freezing weather, follow these tips to prevent frozen pipes:
1. Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines. Don’t put Antifreeze in these lines unless directed.
2. Remove, drain and store hoses used outdoors.
3. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs.
4. Open outside hose bibs to allow water to drain.
5. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
6. Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas.
7. Consider installing insulation, such as a pipe sleeve, or similar materials on exposed water pipes.
8. Newspaper can also provide some insulation and protection to exposed pipes.
During the cold weather, follow these steps:
1. Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
2. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
3. Let the cold water drip from the faucet that’s connected to exposed pipes. Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
4. Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and night.
5. If you leave your home, leave the heat on. Set the temperature no lower than 55 degrees.
How to thaw frozen pipes:
1. Keep the faucet open, so as the pipes thaw, water can flow as it melts. Running water through the pipe will also help melt ice in the pipe.
2. Apply heat, such as a hair dryer or heating pad, to the section of frozen pipe. Do not use a blow torch, propane heater, or other open flame device.
3. If you can’t find the frozen area of the pipe, or it’s not accessible, call a licensed plumber.
4. Check all other faucets in the home. If you have one frozen pipe, others may freeze, too.
How to plan ahead:
1. Consider moving the exposed pipes to another location with the help of a professional.
2. Add insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces. The insulation will help keep higher temperatures in these areas.
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