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Tips to help avoid frozen water pipes during the deep freeze

AshtabulaCurrent

Frigid weather brings the possibility of dealing with frozen pipes and water damage to the forefront.

An Aqua Ohio Press Release

ASHTABULA_Aqua Ohio (Aqua) is encouraging its customers to take steps to prevent frozen pipes inside their homes during cold weather.

“With the recent cold snap, we’ve started receiving calls from customers with frozen pipes,” said Aqua’s Area Manager Joe Flahiff. “Aqua wants to make sure they know what they can do to prevent pipes from freezing and what they can do if they find themselves with frozen pipes.”

Some things Flahiff says customers can do right now, to prepare for severe winter weather are:

• Locate and visibly mark the master valve so customers can turn off the water to their home in case a pipe breaks inside their home. (everyone old enough to be left at home alone should know where this valve is and how to operate it)

• Make sure the lids on outdoor meter pits are not broken or missing.
• Prevent drafts in unheated areas, such as crawl spaces or basements, by replacing broken glass or making other repairs.

Flahiff says materials customers should have on hand are heat tape, pipe insulation, a portable space heater and a portable hairdryer. The tips he advises customers to use in unheated areas of their homes when temperatures drop below freezing are:

• Wrap pipes with insulation material or heat tape. Wrap indoor water meters with a blanket. Proper and safe use of portable space heaters can also keep exposed pipes in drafty areas from freezing.

• For interior plumbing located on an outside wall such as a kitchen sink, install heat tape to the pipes beneath the sink. Open cabinet doors beneath sinks to allow the warm air in the home to reach pipes. (If young children are in the home take steps to prevent them from accessing chemicals that may be kept under the sink)

• When temperatures remain below 10∞F, customers might want to leave a thin stream (about the size of a pencil lead) of water running continuously from at least one tap—preferably the one farthest from where the water enters the home. The additional cost of the water is cheaper than the cost of repairing broken pipes.

• If pipes do freeze and the customer can locate the frozen area, use a hair dryer or heat tape to thaw the area. Do not use a plumber’s torch or heat gun.

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