(WBNG) — We’ve been treated to some much nicer weather lately, but colder weather is just over the horizon. Keeping that in mind, I’m sure many of us know someone who has fallen victim to a frozen, busted water pipe.
As temperatures drop, homeowners across the country worry about this possibility and prepare the best they can. Frozen pipes bursting is a problem that can be easily prevented, even in the coldest of temperatures. So how can you take those first steps toward being ready before the temperatures drop?
“Make sure all hoses are disconnected from the outside hose bibs. That could cause the lines to freeze inside your house actually. Make sure any voids or cracks are filled,” said Chris Holleran, Vice President of Auchinachie Plumbing and Heating.
Holleran also recommends keeping certain areas as insulated as possible, including the garage. He suggests keeping garage doors shut whenever not being used.
Most times, pipes freeze and burst when homes are left unoccupied for a period of time during a cold stretch, like when college students go home or folks travel south for the winter. If you do plan to leave during a cold stretch, there are options for you if someone can’t check your house very often. One such option is the nightwatchman, which can plug directly into a lamp.
“So the light’s always off. But if the heating system quit and the temperature in the house dropped, this light would come on and that would signal a problem,” said Scott Groats, Vestal Water Superintendent.
Say you’ve followed all the steps, but a pipe still freezes on you. What can you do then?
“Introduce heat to the area. If you have a sink or a vanity that’s on an outside wall, and the lines are in the wall, open up the doors,” said Holleran.
Heat is the most important thing, along with letting water drip while the pipes heat back up, so extra pressure isn’t forced along the pipes and causes a burst.
We are all going to try and save some money on that heating bill this winter. Just remember, it’s worth that little bit of extra money to avoid a clean-up from a busted pipe that’s even more costly in the end.