• Let a small amount of water drip from your faucets to minimize the risk of the water freezing and the pipe bursting from the pressure of the expanding ice.
• Seal all air leaks that may let an icy blast reach your pipes.
• Water pipes located next to an outside wall are often subjected to sub-freezing temperatures. Any plumbing located in a garage or any other unheated building is susceptible to low temperatures. Any exposed pipes should be wrapped or insulated. There are other devices such as heat tape which can be used to keep pipes from freezing.
• Don’t forget outside faucets. Turn off valves to outside faucets, drain any water remaining in the faucets and disconnect any hoses. If there are no valves to outside faucets, they may be protected by insulating them and then placing a plastic bag over them to protect the insulation.
• Pipes in cabinets could be located against an outside wall. Even if these pipes have been insulated, leave the cabinet doors open to allow the heat in the room to help keep them from freezing.
• If your house has a crawl space located under it, close all air vents located in the foundation wall. This will prevent the pipes in the crawl space from being exposed to the cold air and other water using devices, to give your pipes extra protection from freezing.
Thawing a Frozen Pipe…
Be careful! Gentle heat from a light bulb, hairdryer on warm setting or heat tape is good. If the pipe is already cracked from freezing, as the water thaws, it may begin to spray out risking danger of electrocution if it sprays the appliance you are using for thawing. Do not use a torch or other open flame.
Find Your Main Water Cut-off Valve…
Look for this now! Imagine the panic, if water was pouring through the house from a broken pipe.
Locate the main water cut-off valve, mark it, and make sure everyone in the house knows where it is. Most main water cut-off valves are located on the wall where the water enters the house or near the washing machine or water heater. If you have a basement or crawl space the shut-off valve is probably where the water line comes through the concrete foundation.