How to avoid frozen water pipes as temperatures drop

How to prevent pipes from freezing in the winter.
Courtesy: WLFI

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LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Overall, temperatures have been mild this winter, but that’s about to change with colder temperatures in the forecast. Experts say now is the time to prepare your home’s pipes to keep them from freezing.

As temperatures start to drop, staff members at Anderson Plumbing are getting ready for a heavier workload and anticipate a few frozen pipes.

Service Manager Gilbert Guzman said a dent in your pipe could lead to a dent in your wallet, costing some customers hundreds of dollars to repair.

“Typically a lot people leave the garage doors open overnight,” Guzman said. “It’s kind of a careless mistake and causes a lot of pipes to freeze.”

Frozen pipes occur when frozen water causes the pipes to expand, making it a perfect spot for leaks. However, there are many actions homeowners can take to avoid a wet mess.

An easy thing to do is turn your faucet on and leave it running for more than just a drip. You can also open the cabinets underneath the sink to let warmer air in.

“If you can at least have the house set to 60 degrees when going on vacation,” said Guzman. “You guys should be all right there.”

Guzman says you should know the areas in your home where water pipes are most vulnerable to freezing. For example, tightly seal any crawl space doors.

“Especially the garage door,” said Guzman. “You have no idea how many times we were called out last year because of the garage door being left open all throughout the night.”

Another way to protect your pipes is by insulating them.

“Uninsulated pipes and pipes in uninsulated walls causes a lot of issues,” said Guzman.

If your pipes do freeze, Indiana American Water suggests shutting the water off immediately and applying heat to the pipe. You can use a hair dryer, space heater or hot water. Once the pipes have thawed, turn the water back on slowly and check for cracks and leaks.

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