Preparing for Emergency – Burst Pipes

Where to shut your water offWe all take care to prepare for frigid weather.  Yes, we’ll need comfort food and firewood to get through this New England weather, but we also need to take steps to avoid frozen water pipes, because a burst pipe could turn a cozy warm home into a big mess. The only things you can really do are shut off your main water supply and call a Plumber to fix the pipe professionally. You can find your main shutoff valve right near your water meter.

Frozen pipes cause a huge amount of damage each year; unlike natural disasters, this disaster is largely preventable, according to State Farm Insurance. By taking a few simple precautions, you can help save yourself the mess, money, and aggravation frozen pipes cause.

Pipes freeze due to quick drops in temperature, poor insulation and thermostats set too low. Both plastic and copper pipes can freeze and burst, and a cracked pipe can cause flooding, structural damage and mold. When pipes freeze, water in the pipes become ice and expand and this pressure causes cracks, and even a small one can leak 250 gallons in a day.

Dun-RIGHT Plumbing & Heating recommends these steps to prevent pipes from freezing:

  • Disconnect outside water hoses.
  • Inspect outside faucets, and repair dripping or leaking faucets.
  • If your home has an interior shut-off valve leading to outside faucets, close them and drain water from the pipes.
  • Cover outside faucets with a faucet insulation kit available at home and garden stores.
  • Apply heat tape around exposed pipes.
  • Allow a trickle of hot and cold water to drip overnight in sinks and bathtubs that have supply pipes that run along outside walls.

If a faucet or pipe inside your house freezes, you can thaw it using a good hair dryer. (For safety purposes, avoid operating a hair dryer around standing water). To thaw a frozen pipe, heat water on the stove, soak towels in the hot water and wrap them around cold sections of the pipes. When thawing a pipe, start thawing it nearest to the faucet. Make sure the faucet is turned on so that melted water can drip out.

If you do have a burst pipe emergency, contact – Dun-RIGHT Plumbing & Heating – 24/7 Service.  Call 877-386-7454.

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