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Cold Weather Tips for Water PipesThursday, November 08, 2012Winter is just around the corner and with freezing temperatures comes the risk of frozen pipes. Here are some suggestions for protecting your home during extremely cold temperatures. Insulate exposed pipes or Water Damage House Foundation faucets

Wrapping exposed pipes or pipes that run through outside walls, attics, unheated garages or crawl spaces can help prevent freezing. Wrap insulating material over the entire length of the exposed pipe. Insulated foam pipe sleeves can also be used. Cover all valves, joints, Water Damage House Foundation etc. with insulating tape or fiberglass insulation. 

Make sure your outdoor sprinklers are shut off and wrap your outdoor spigots or install an insulated cover to help keep the outside faucet from freezing. You can find the supplies you need at a local hardware store. Eliminate drafts Close off crawl space vents Water Damage House Foundation and foundation openings. Repair broken or cracked windows. Make sure doors and windows close tightly. 

Many of the weather-proofing techniques that help reduce your heating bill will also help to reduce the possibility that your pipes will freeze in cold weather. For example, Water Damage House Foundation caulk or insulate around door frames, windows and around pipes where they enter the house to reduce incoming cold. Locate the main water valve shut-off valve

Most homes have a master shut-off valve that will allow you to turn off all the water coming into the house. The valve is usually located around your hot water heater from the main water line enters into the house. If a pipe breaks somewhere in the house, Water Damage House Foundation you can turn off the water at this main valve. Show other family members where the main water shut-off is located. 

Note: The valve located in the water meter box near the Right of Way is not you main shut-off. The valve located in the meter box is the property of the City Water Damage House Foundation and should only be used by City personnel. It is against City ordinance for any unauthorized person to tamper with this valve. 

Should you have an emergency and are unable to shut off the water contact our Water Billing Office at 770-460-4237 or if assistance is needed afterhours contact our Answering Service at 770-997-5189 to have the City valve shut off. Disconnect Water Damage House Foundation and drain outdoor hoses

This will allow the pipe that feeds the outdoor spigot to drain and can help to prevent a hard freeze from bursting the outdoor faucet or the pipe leading to it. Drain and coil the hose, Water Damage House Foundation then store it away for warmer weather to prevent damaging the hose. Drain in-ground sprinkling systems

Check the manufacturer’s instructions or call your installer for the information on the best way to do this. Open doors below sinks Opening cabinet doors, Water Damage House Foundation especially if the sink is located against an exterior wall, will allow warm air to reach the pipes. Let the water run temporarily

Leave a small trickle of water running, especially if you have pipes located in an exterior wall or under a slab. Faucets farthest from the street should be the ones left running. Using cold water will save on your gas or electric bill. This will keep water moving through the pipes Water Damage House Foundation and will reduce the possibility of the pipe from freezing. 

A trickle of water about the size of a pencil lead is sufficient. This will increase your water bill but will help minimize the chance of pipe breakage. If a pipe freezes despite your precautions: Thaw the pipe Since the pipe has frozen any attempts to quickly unthaw the pipe will cause it to split Water Damage House Foundation or break. 

The easiest way to thaw frozen pipes is to open the water sources in the house. If one pipe is frozen, this may mean several are frozen. Turn on the cold water taps, Water Damage House Foundation and if even a trickle comes out of the tap, this can help thaw frozen pipes. This is because water coming into the pipes will be above freezing temperature and will break down frozen water. 

Once the taps are exhibiting a full flow of water, the pipes are no longer frozen. If there is no water coming from the pipes, Water Damage House Foundation you must locate the area where the pipes are frozen. If you are not sure, you may want to contact a plumber. Guessing and applying heat to the wrong area can result in damaged piping. 

When you can locate the frozen area, you have several options to thaw frozen pipes. You can wrap a heating blanket around the frozen area, Water Damage House Foundation or wrap with insulation. If it is wet as well as cold outside, you should call a plumber, since using electricity around a wet pipe can be dangerous. The cold water taps should be on while you thaw frozen pipes with a heating blanket.

The key is to thaw the pipe slowly as to not damage the pipe. If a pipe leaks or breaksOnce a pipe has frozen, there is a very good chance that it will break Water Damage House Foundation or leak. The first thing to do is shut off the water at the master shut-off valve as quickly as possible toprevent flooding and water damage. 

Unless you are an experienced do-it-yourselfer, you may need to call a plumber to repair the break or leak. Should your pipes break, shut off the water and then turn off the heating source to your water heater. Again, Water Damage House Foundation you may need to contact a licensed plumber for repairs. Taking these precautions will help protect your water pipes throughout the winter season.

Winterize unheated or vacant buildings.Significant property damage Water Damage House Foundation and water loss can occur before burst pipes are discovered in vacant buildings. If your vacant building has a fire protection system, make sure there is no danger that the water servicing this system might freeze.Insulate water pipes that may be vulnerable to the cold or have caused problems before.

Pipes close to exterior walls or in unheated basements can be wrapped with pieces of insulation. Don't overlook pipes near windows, which can quickly freeze. For particularly difficult pipes, Water Damage House Foundation consult a professional on how to select and apply heat tape. Pay special attention to indoor water meters. 

If the meter freezes, it can cause your basement to flood, Water Damage House Foundation and Denver Water will have to replace the meter (at your cost) before you will have water again.Caution: Improper use of heat tape can cause fires. Never put heat tape on the water meter to avoid damaging plastic components of the meter.

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