Are you ready for the frigid cold that gripped us in past winters? Is your home ready for several inches of snow to get dumped this winter?
Dangerously cold temperatures will be here soon. Do you have the very best partner to deal with the emergency plumbing issues that surface because of the cold, often from pipes freezing and then bursting or cracking?
When you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, you may well have a frozen pipe. If you suspect the pipes are frozen, be careful when thawing them out because if the pipe has already burst, the water will come flowing out and flood your home.
If a pipe has broken, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve, which is usually at the water meter or where the main line enters the house. If the water is still running and no pipes have burst, you can take the following steps.
Of course, if you suspect a more serious problem, give Schaible’s Plumbing a call.
Schaible’s Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning offers a few suggestions.
- Have the cold water drip from faucets to prevent pipes from freezing.
- Open cabinets beneath the sinks to let the heat from the house reach them.
- Cover crawl space entrances to prevent cold outside air from freezing pipes inside.
- Insulate exposed pipes, valves and hose bibs. That includes pipes that are outdoors, in attics, crawl spaces, basements and garages. Pipe insulation and insulating material for hose bibs is available at many hardware stores.
- Shut off and drain outside faucets. If your hose bibs have individual shutoff valves, turn off the water supply for individual hose bibs and open hose bibs to drain faucets. And be sure to disconnect your garden hoses from hose bibs.
- Shut off and winterize your outdoor irrigation system and other water fixtures.
- Keep heat on and set your thermostat no lower than 55° F while away from home.
- Locate your emergency shutoff and learn how to turn off your water supply.
- Keep your garage door closed and ensure the weather stripping blocks any light and wind. Most garages have less insulation (if any) than your home does.
- Add a space heater to a room where pipes might be at risk. Using a space heater in a bathroom isn’t recommended, but if you really need one, make sure it’s plugged into an outlet with a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) and do not use an extension cord.