The Polar Vortex has swept a wave of cold across the east coast. Just this morning temperatures hit 16 degrees right here in Fayetteville, NC! Of course, cold snaps are nothing new. We’ve seen temperatures this low before and we’ll certainly see them again. Most of the time, these temps just keep the kids inside and an occasional car battery dies.
But as homeowners, there are more considerations – frozen pipes! If you have ever had a pipe break, you know how damaging it can be. For the uninitiated, a burst pipe can cause thousands of dollars in damage and in some cases, even put you out of your home.
The Washington Post has a good write up on how to protect your pipes from freezing. The article points out some important tips, provided by the American Red Cross:
- Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
- When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
Winter is here for at least a couple more months. Take these common sense precautions today.
As always, we’re here to help with any of your plumbing needs.