FROZEN PIPES– frozen water in pipes can cause pipes to burst due to the water pressure buildup behind the ice blockage. Pipes that are located in areas more susceptible to freezing temperatures, such as attics, basements, and outside walls, are more likely to freeze and burst. All pipes should be well insulated, and any damaged pipes should be replaced. Other things you can do to prevent frozen pipes are:
- Keep the house warm – interior temperatures should be set to at least 60 degrees.
- Seal cracks in outside walls and foundations to prevent cold air penetration.
- Wrap pipes that are more exposed to cold temperatures with heating tape or insulation.
- Keep cabinet doors open during very cold weather to allow warm air to circulate around pipes.
- Open water faucets to allow a slow trickle of water, which keeps the water flowing through the lines and prevents freezing. Make sure the sink drains are open.
- Know where the main water shut off valve is located, and maintain clear access to it so that the water can be shut off if freezing to pipes does occur. Water should be shut off at once if pipes have frozen, and a plumber should be called immediately. The more quickly you take action, the better chance you have to prevent your pipes from bursting and causing damage to your home. Never try to thaw a pipe with a blowtorch or other open flame device yourself.
- If you plan to leave your home for several days or longer, shut off the water and drain the pipes. Alternatively, you can also install an emergency pressure release valve in your plumbing system.