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Frozen drainpipes

Source: Andrew Michael/UIG / Getty

With a “Wind Chill Warning” officially in effect for a great deal of area across the States, here’s a few tips to help you prepare your home for impending sub-zero temperatures.

Safely Heat Your Home

  • Keep space heaters away from flammable items like furniture and draperies. Avoid using fuel-burning space heaters indoors as they can create deadly carbon monoxide.
  • You should have a working smoke alarm on each level of your home and at least one carbon monoxide alarm in your home. Batteries should be checked monthly

Prevent Frozen Pipes

  • Leave a thin stream of water running when the temperature is below freezing.
  • Insulate pipes that may be exposed to cold air.
  • Open cabinet doors below sinks to keep warm air circulating around pipes.
  • Make sure the lid on your water meter pit is tightly secured.
  • If your water meter is in the basement, ensure the area is heated and check for broken windows.
  • If you have piping in the garage, ensure the garage doors stay closed.
  • Locate your water shut-off valve so you know how to turn water off quickly in case a pipe bursts. Shut-off valves can be located in various places in your home, including the garage, basement, utility closet or the main entry for the water line into the house.

What to Do if You Identify a Frozen Pipe

  • Turn off the water at the shut-off valve.
  • Open the faucet attached to the frozen pipe to allow water to flow through and relieve pressure buildup. Running water through the pipe also will help melt any remaining ice.
  • Apply gradual heat to the section of frozen pipe. This can be done by wrapping the pipes in bath towels or using a space heater to heat up the area where the pipes are located. Keep applying heat until the water pressure is restored and the water flows through freely. Never apply direct heat to the affected area.
  • If a pipe is bulging or you can’t find the location of the blockage, call a licensed plumber.
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Tips To Prepare Your Home For Impending Sub-Zero Temperatures  was originally published on