Wrap Those Pipes

Experts say unless homeowners take some precautions, the super-cold temperatures being forecast for the end of the week could cause problems for homeowners.

There's a good chance that water pipes will freeze unless protected and some may burst, causing flooding in homes and apartments. Heat tape that can be purchased at hardware stores is the best way to make sure pipes don't freeze, but experts say also leaving a small steady stream of water running at a location in the house is the cheapest and best way to assure your water pipes don't freeze.

The experts say if you're going out of town, turn off the water at the street, or call your local water utility and they will come out and turn off the water themselves.

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Avoid Frozen Pipes

  • Cover foundation vents with foam blocks or thickly folded newspaper to prevent cold winds from entering and freezing pipes.

  • Turn off and drain sprinkler systems and backflow devices.

  • Disconnect hoses from outside faucets and drain hoses.

  • Wrap outside faucets with foam covers or towels.
  • Know the location of and shut-off procedure for your main shut-off valve.
  • Open cupboard doors under sinks where the plumbing is in an outside wall. (The interior heat will help warm the pipes.)
  • Temporarily, keep a steady drip of cold water at an inside faucet, farther from the meter. (This keeps the water moving, making it less likely to freeze.)

If Your Pipes Burst
  • Shut off the water and the water heater.
  • If you are unable to find the shut-off valve, or have water leaking in the house from a broken pipe, contact your local water department.

Source: Web Reports contributed to this report.