JACKSON, Wyo. – Given the low winter temperatures in the valley, the city of Jackson announced this week that it has taken calls regarding residents who have frozen pipes.
The city sent out a few useful tips that might come in handy: Every year, the City of Jackson Public Works Department receives many calls regarding frozen water pipes. Frozen water pipes can cause costly damage and life disturbances.
An 8-inch crack in a pipe can spit out up to 250 gallons of water per day and destroy floors, furniture, and keepsakes. Both plastic (PVC) and copper pipes can burst.
So what can you do to avoid frozen pipes?
At freezing temperatures
- Maintain the flow of water by running cold water down the drain. It can be effective to hold a small drop of water (the size of a pencil lead) out of a faucet farthest from the inlet.
- Open the cabinet doors to allow more heat to surround the pipes near the outside walls.
- Always leave the heating on. The heat shouldn’t be below 50 degrees.
- Plan ahead if you will be away from home for a long time. Ask a friend or neighbor to check your house daily to make sure it is warm enough to prevent freezing.
- Check your crawl space and make sure your pipes are properly insulated and your vent is closed.
- The trailer’s skirting board should be in place.
Oh no! You already have a leak
- Do not take any risks. If you turn on your taps and nothing comes out, leave the taps on and call a certified plumber.
- If you find that your water pipes are frozen and bursting, turn off the water at the main stop valve in the house. Leave the taps on. (Make sure everyone in your family knows where the water stop valve is and how to open and close it.)
- NEVER attempt to thaw a pipe with a flashlight or other open flame. Water damage is preferable to burning your home down. You may be able to thaw a frozen tube with the warm air of a hair dryer. First, heat the pipe as close to the tap as possible, working towards the coldest section of the pipe.
- DO NOT use electrical appliances in areas with standing water. Beware of electric shock and be safe!
- Contact the Public Works Department (307-733-3079) if you cannot turn off the water at the main valve.
- Contact your insurance agent to inform them of the damage.
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