Preventing frozen pipes |

We’re more than mid-winter but with a dramatic cold on the way, here are a few things to check in your home to prepare for the arctic air.

TYLER, Texas – This weekend, a polar mass of air with arctic air from the north is likely to bring our nighttime temperatures down to the teens, and daytime highs will have a hard time moving past freezing. With dramatic cold along the way, here are some things to check in your home before the polar air arrives.

When water freezes, it expands. And some objects explode if left in a frozen environment for too long. For example, if you leave a can of soda in your car on a very cold night, the can will explode.

The same principle applies to your home water pipes. When the water freezes in the pipes, it expands. These frozen parts can put pressure on the pipe, causing it to burst. A burst pipe can cause costly damage, so it pays to prepare.

John Crymes, General Manager of Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, shared some tips on what to do now.

“All exposed piping, especially PVC, must be installed there. Any local hardware store usually has this piping installation,” he said.

Faucet covers, pipe wrappers, or even household items can be used.

“If you can’t do that, I’ve seen people take a towel and wrap it around the pipe, put some tape on it, you know, it’s a quick fix when you don’t have insulation,” Crymes said.

Let the faucets in the house run low enough to keep the water moving. Open attic doors and cabinets to allow the warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Also, make sure to get started before the frozen air gets here.

“Some will wait for it to happen, so we’ll try to get to the hardware store to find something, and then they’re all sold out,” he said. “So just try to think ahead every year. If you don’t want to, call your local plumber to wrap your pipes and check your attics.”

He says if there is an emergency you will know how to turn off your water.

“Every home should have an emergency shut-off valve,” said Crymes. “Most have them but they’re underground, covered up, or you don’t know where they are. You need to know where these are so you can turn off the water because if it floods and starts to flood until you turn the emergency measuring device off or your shutdown. ”

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