Pre­vent frozen pipes while trav­el­ling

The Drumheller Mail - - CLASSIFIEDS -

Dur­ing win­ter, many peo­ple plan va­ca­tions to warmer cli­mates so they can en­joy a re­lax­ing respite from the snow and ice. While trav­ellers are en­joy­ing the sand and surf, their homes may be in dan­ger from ex­treme weather con­di­tions.

Frozen wa­ter pipes af­fect a quar­ter-mil­lion fam­i­lies each win­ter. Both cop­per and plas­tic pipes can freeze. A sin­gle 1⁄8-inch crack in a pipe can re­sult in up to 250 gal­lons of wa­ter leak­age per day. Flood wa­ter can con­trib­ute to se­ri­ous struc­tural dam­age, mold and a host of other prob­lems.

Wa­ter ex­pands as it freezes, so pipes can be put un­der strain if the pres­sure from ex­pand­ing wa­ter has nowhere to go. Pipes that tend to freeze most fre­quently in­clude those ex­posed to se­vere cold, such as out­door hose bibs, swim­ming pool lines and wa­ter sprin­kler sys­tems. How­ever, even pipes in­side a home, such as those in un­heated ar­eas or those that run against ex­te­rior walls, can freeze.

To avoid re­turn­ing from a re­lax­ing win­ter es­cape to find a home in need of re­pair thanks to frozen pipes, home­own­ers can take these steps. • Add in­su­la­tion to at­tics, base­ments and crawl spa­ces to help main­tain higher tem­per­a­tures within the ar­eas where some wa­ter pipes may run. • Pipes them­selves can be in­su­lated with spe­cial cov­er­ings or sleeves. Home­own­ers also can ex­plore heat tape or wrap pipes in heat ca­bles con­trolled by their ther­mostats. • Dis­con­nect out­door hoses, and drain wa­ter from pipes lead­ing to out­door faucets. Turn off the in­door valve to shut off the wa­ter sup­ply to the outdoors, but leave the out­door bib in the “open” po­si­tion to al­low wa­ter to drip and re­lieve pres­sure should some freez­ing oc­cur. • The same tech­nique can be ap­plied in­doors. A trickle of hot and cold wa­ter can keep pipes from freez­ing dur­ing ex­tremely cold snaps of weather. • Set the ther­mo­stat to a con­sis­tent tem­per­a­ture, en­sur­ing that the tem­per­a­ture in­doors will not drop dra­mat­i­cally overnight. The tem­per­a­ture should be no less than 55 F. • Open cab­i­net doors to al­low heat to reach un­der sinks and ap­pli­ances. • Check around the house for drafty ar­eas that can con­trib­ute to colder tem­per­a­tures in garages, base­ments and crawl spa­ces. • Con­sider re­lo­cat­ing pipes that are ex­posed to the el­e­ments to pro­vide in­creased pro­tec­tion. • Ask a neigh­bor to pe­ri­od­i­cally check on the house to en­sure that pipes are in good work­ing or­der. • Pipes them­selves can be in­su­lated with spe­cial cov­er­ings or sleeves. Home­own­ers also can ex­plore heat tape or wrap pipes in heat ca­bles con­trolled by their ther­mostats. • Dis­con­nect out­door hoses, and drain wa­ter from pipes lead­ing to out­door faucets. Turn off the in­door valve to shut off the wa­ter sup­ply to the outdoors, but leave the out­door bib in the “open” po­si­tion to al­low wa­ter to drip and re­lieve pres­sure should some freez­ing oc­cur. • The same tech­nique can be ap­plied in­doors. A trickle of hot and cold wa­ter can keep pipes from freez­ing dur­ing ex­tremely cold snaps of weather. • Set the ther­mo­stat to a con­sis­tent tem­per­a­ture, en­sur­ing that the tem­per­a­ture in­doors will not drop dra­mat­i­cally overnight. The tem­per­a­ture should be no less than 55 F. • Open cab­i­net doors to al­low heat to reach un­der sinks and ap­pli­ances. • Check around the house for drafty ar­eas that can con­trib­ute to colder tem­per­a­tures in garages, base­ments and crawl spa­ces. • Con­sider re­lo­cat­ing pipes that are ex­posed to the el­e­ments to pro­vide in­creased pro­tec­tion. • Ask a neigh­bor to pe­ri­od­i­cally check on the house to en

sure that pipes are in good work­ing or­der. Home­own­ers who know where the main wa­ter shut-off valve in their homes is lo­cated and who act quickly can pre­vent se­ri­ous dam­age should a pipe burst. In such in­stances, leaks can be con­tained and ex­tin­guished as quickly as pos­si­ble.

Home­own­ers who know where the main wa­ter shut-off valve in their homes is lo­cated and who act quickly can pre­vent se­ri­ous dam­age should a pipe burst. In such in­stances, leaks can be con­tained and ex­tin­guished as quickly as pos­si­ble.

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