Avoid frozen water pipes as temperatures drop

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Temperatures have overall been mild this winter, but that’s about to change with lower temperatures in Saturday night’s forecast. Experts say now is the time to prepare your home’s pipes from freezing to avoid costly repairs later.

As temperatures start to drop, staff members at Anderson Plumbing are getting ready for a heavier workload. They say they anticipate a few frozen pipes.

Service manager Gilbert Guzman said a dent in your pipe could lead to a dent in your wallet, costing some customers hundreds of dollars to repair.

“Typically, a lot people leave the garage doors open overnight,” said Guzman. “It’s kind of a careless mistake and causes a lot of pipes to freeze.”

Frozen pipes occur when frozen water causes the pipes to expand, making it a perfect spot for leaks. But there are many options, making it easier for people to avoid a wet mess.

Some of the easiest things you can do to avoid a frozen pipe is turn your faucet on and leave it running for more than just a drip. Another way, is to open up the cabinets underneath your sink to let the warmer air in to circulate.

“If you can, at least, have the house set to 60 degrees when going on vacation,” said Guzman. “You guys should be all right there.”

Guzman said know the areas in your home where water pipes are most vulnerable to freezing. For example, tightly seal any crawl space doors.

“Especially, the garage door,” said Guzman. “You have no idea how many times we were called out last year because of the garage door being left open all throughout the night.”

Another way to protect your pipes is by insulating them.

“Uninsulated pipes and pipes in uninsulated walls causes a lot of issues,” said Guzman.

Indiana American Water suggests if your pipes do freeze, shut off the water immediately and apply heat to the frozen pipe by warming the air around it to help it thaw. You can use a hair dryer, space heater or hot water. Once the pipes have thawed, turn the water back on slowly and check for cracks and leaks.

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