Tips to prevent frozen pipes as frigid temperature approach

Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 8:48 AM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - When temperatures start to plummet, an issue we see every year, starts to rise. Pipes freezing, then possibly bursting once they thaw.

Frozen pipes can cause thousands of dollars in damages that can sometimes be avoided.

NorthStar Restoration Services in Wausau said there are three main causes when it comes to pipes freezing and bursting. Those are: quick drops in temperature, poor insulation, and thermostats simply set too low.

Co-owner of NorthStar Restoration, Jay Cricks gave tips on how to prevent this. First, he said to make sure your pipes are insulated, or try to keep them warm. You can do that by simply opening your cabinets to let the heat circulate through.

Second, he said to seal any leaks that would allow cold air to come through. Signs of leaks could look like frost on your pipes, or feel around to see if some spots are colder in temperature.

Third, Cricks said to run the water overnight with faucets that are near exterior walls. This will help prevent some of the water that’s already in the pipes from freezing and causing a blockage.

Last, but not least, he said the simplest, but does take a little more money, is simply adjusting your heat to at least 55 degrees.

“You know just depending on where you live and what kind of home you have, just kind of do your research and do any preventative maintenance tips you can, before the cold weather comes,” Cricks said.

Now, what do you do if you are suspecting the water or pipes begin to freeze?

Cricks said one thing that really indicates potentially freezing pipes, is water pressure. If it isn’t running normally, or even coming out spotty or weaker, one thing you can do is grab a hairdryer or a towel soaked in hot water to help thaw the pipes.

He added that if you know for sure the pipe is completely frozen, immediately turn your water valve off. “‘Cause once that pipe thaws out, that water pressure is going to be pushing that ice plug through wherever the pipe split, and then the water is going to continue to gush out.”

Space heaters are a helpful tool when it comes to heating, although they are a fire hazard. If you do use them make sure the heaters are supervised.

When in doubt, call a plumber before more damage happens.

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