LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – Frozen pipes can be a huge problem with frigid temperatures in the Natural State. According to Central Arkansas Water, frozen pipes are most common cause of home insurance claims in the United States.
Here are some tips to prevent your pipes from freezing throughout the winter months:
1. Drain pipes before extended vacations: Reduce frozen pipe risks by turning off the water at your home's shutoff valve and draining your water lines.
2. Locate your shutoff valve for emergencies: Knowing the exact location of your shutoff valve will save time and water in an emergency, the valve stops the flow of water and is usually located outside near the water line entering your home within a few feet of the water meter. If you are unable to locate the valve, contact the builder or a plumber for assistance.
3. Eliminate drafts and insulate pipes: When chilly air comes in through leaks, warm air escapes through other leaks. Sealing cracks in windows and doors, closing crawl space vents and replacing worn door sweeps can help retain warm air inside the home and can help prevent cold temperatures and potentially frozen pipes.
4. Protect your outside faucets and RPZ valve: Freezing temperatures can cause cracks to outdoor faucets, pipe bursts, and irreparable cracks on Reduced Pressure Zone Assembly (RPZ) back flow devices. Disconnect and store outdoor hoses, and cover outside faucets for the winter with an insulated enclosure that can be found at a hardware store.
5. Let your faucets drip and open cabinet doors: When temperatures drop below freezing, let your faucet drip when you're asleep or not home to prevent a pipe from bursting. Faucets near outside walls are especially vulnerable to freezing as well as all indoor faucets during times of less frequent water use.
6. If your pipes do freeze, thaw them safely: If your pipes are already frozen, never use an open flame to thaw pipes. You can use a hair dryer, heat tape, a light bulb or hand warmers to thaw them slowly and reduce further damaging the pipe.
Central Arkansas Water will respond to emergencies 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week. If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 501-377-1239.
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