How to prevent your pipes from freezing

With more cold weather along the way, here are some tips to prevent frozen pipes and thaw them.

DENVER – The sub-zero temperatures last weekend caused many problems with the pipes freezing. Frozen pipes can be more than just an inconvenience to a resident. If the pipe breaks due to freezing, it could cause serious damage to a home as the water thaws.

> Video above: Plumbers deal with frozen pipes in Denver Metro due to freezing temperatures.

Here are some Denver Water tips to prevent your water pipes from freezing – and what to do if they burst.

Every resident should know where the water shut-off valve is in their house. This is important so that you can quickly determine if water is flowing out of a broken pipe.

Denver Water suggests that residents should take precautions to prevent pipes from freezing when temperatures drop below -5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tips against frozen pipes

  • Open the cabinet doors under the sink to allow the domestic air to keep the pipes warm.
  • If a garage is attached to the house, keep these doors closed. “Occasionally, piping runs through this unheated space, making it susceptible to the worst of winter,” said Denver Water.
  • Find the faucet farthest from where water enters the house and let it drain slowly. As water flows through the pipes, water is less likely to freeze. Place a bucket in the sink to catch the dripping water so it can be saved for other household purposes.
  • Set the thermostat above 65 degrees if you are going to leave the house for several days.

What to do when a pipe is frozen

  • According to Denver Water, if a pipe is already frozen, it is important to thaw the pipe immediately. Make sure you turn off the water to the house before you start defrosting the pipe. This prevents possible flooding if the pipe is broken.
  • Do not use high power heaters such as soldering torches as these can damage the pipes. It is best to use a hair dryer or room heater to blow hot air into the area and thaw the ice in the pipes. Pipes heated too quickly can break, according to Denver Water.
  • After thawing, check the affected area for leaks to make sure the frost hasn’t damaged your pipes.
  • If the frozen pipe is difficult to access, you do not have the correct tools, or the pipe is broken, contact a plumber.

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