Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

Brrrrrr! Protect Your Plumbing (and you and your pet’s sanity) in Cold Weather!

Friday, January 24th, 2014

When temperatures drop to the freezing lows that we have been experiencing recently, plumbing problems become an issue in many homes. Not only would the problems cause some serious trouble in your home, but your pets can become stressed due to the damage, routine changes, workmen in the home, and other possible scenarios.

Here are some helpful tips to prevent problems that have the potential to cause severe damage and stress:

• Avoid frozen pipes. Watch your water pressure this time of year because the first sign of a frozen pipe is restricted water flow.

• Let water trickle from your faucets. Turn on both the hot and the cold water and let the water drip at a fast pace or even a small stream of water be released. Moving water can help prevent freezing.

• Open cabinet doors under sinks to expose the pipes to warmer household air.

• Disconnect your garden hoses. During cold spells, if a garden hose is left connected, ice can form and pressure will build up in the water lines inside your home. Once this occurs, a water line leak or break is common. This can cause severe damage to the home.

• Install an exterior, insulated faucet cover on outside spigots. This will protect your outdoor faucets, as well as the connecting lines running into the home, from freezing temperatures.

• Turn off the water to the outside hose spigots via shut-off valves. The shut-off valves are located inside your home and can typically be found under sinks, in crawlspaces or basements, near your water heater or your meter. Every home is different and some homes may not be equipped with these valves.

• Close crawlspace vents and garage doors, especially if your water heater is in the garage. If the crawlspace vents cannot be closed, cover them with insulation board cut to fit the vent.

• Circulating warm air helps keep pipes in the walls from freezing. Keep your house temperature above 55 degrees to prevent pipes from freezing. If you are going to be out of town for an extended period of time, do not lower the temperature or turn the heat off. Having that heat circulating helps to keep pipes from freezing. Saving a few dollars by keeping the house cold is not worth the thousands of dollars it could cost to clean-up and repair water damage.

• Know where the curb stop (main shut off to the house) is. If a pipe does freeze and break, you can turn off the water faster instead of waiting for the water company or an emergency plumber.

By following these tips, you can help to avoid a mess in your home and filing an unwanted insurance claim. You will also help keep your pets (and yourself) happy and stress-free.