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How To Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing

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It’s almost February here in Northern KY/Greater Cincinnati, which means the heart of the winter season is upon us!

Since Jack & Jill Frost are still here to stay for a bit, our Jolly Plumbing technicians want to make sure you’re still doing everything you can to prevent your pipes from freezing with these tips:

  • If you have not done so already, be sure to disconnect all garden hoses from outside faucets.
  • Freezing temperatures combined with heavy drafts can cause pipes to freeze more frequently, so close all windows near water pipes, and cover/close open-air vents.
  • Wrap those interior pipes nearest exterior walls and crawl spaces with pipe insulation or heating tape.
  • On those extra cold nights, keep kitchen & bathroom cabinet doors open so warmer air can circulate around the plumbing underneath. Of course, be sure to move any harmful household cleaners and chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • Keep a consistent thermostat temperature both day and night. You may see a slight increase in your heating bill, but it will be temporary and a lot cheaper than an expensive repair job should a pipe freeze and burst.
  • If you’ll be out of town for a significant amount of time during the winter months, keep the heat on in your home with the temperature set no lower than 55° F, and shut off the water supply valves to your washing machine.

Even with a great prevention plan in place, you could still end up with frozen pipes.

An obvious sign that this has happened is when you go to turn on your faucet and notice a significant reduction in water flow.

If this occurs, here are steps you can try on your own to thaw it out:

  • Grab a good working hair dryer and, starting with an exposed area on the pipe closest to the faucet, begin applying the warm air until full water pressure is restored. For your safety, please make sure you’re not doing this around standing water.
  • You can also try soaking towels in hot water and wrapping those around the frozen pipe. Electric heating pads work well, too. (Again, just avoid doing this around any standing water.)
  • And, please, do NOT use a blowtorch, kerosene, or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device. (Yes, pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised…)
  • If one pipe is frozen, there may be others that are, too. Check all faucets in your home to find out.
  • Of course, if you’re not having any luck with the thawing process, you can’t seem to locate the frozen area or, you know where it is, but you can’t get to it, call a licensed plumber.

Should a pipe burst, turn the main water valve off in order to stop the leak and prevent any further damage. And call your plumber right away for repairs.

As much as we’d like to tell you that spring has sprung already, I’m afraid we still have some cold days ahead.

Follow these tips to make sure your pipes aren’t vulnerable to the chill. And, of course, call us with your emergencies, questions, or concerns!