Plumber offers tips on avoiding frozen pipes - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Plumber offers tips on avoiding frozen pipes

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Now is the time of year to protect pipes against freezing (WFSB) Now is the time of year to protect pipes against freezing (WFSB)
WOLCOTT, CT (WFSB) -

As temperatures keep dipping, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your pipes at home.

If you pay close attention to a few things, you could save thousands of dollars in potential damage due to frozen pipes.

One thing is to make sure your outside faucets are turned off.

The valves are usually in your basement. You just give them a turn in the opposite direction of the pipes and they’re off.

You also want to go outside to the water faucet and turn it open to make sure all the water has drained out.

A few simple steps could end up saving you some big bucks.

If you let your pipes get below 32 degrees, they will freeze, crack and burst.

Plumber John Doyle says many times homeowners won’t even know it till the pipes have warmed back up.

“You could see the walls start sweating if it’s a hot water line you’ll see steam in that area and it’ll just be catastrophic for any of the sheetrock in that area or wood,” said Doyle, of Doyle’s Plumbing and Heating from Wolcott.

To have healthy solid running pipes in your home, Doyle says follow this checklist:

  • Maintain your heating system
  • Keep a clean boiler with a new oil filter and oil screen
  • Try to trap the heat in for pipes living along your outer walls

“Great idea to have the insulation. It’s going to protect you in the long run against any future issues or issues that can happen and won’t happen because you took a head start on it,” Doyle said.

Have a crawl space? Make sure you’re letting heat circulate to your pipes.

“A lot of people don’t like the look of a space like this so what they’ll do is block it off with a piece of plywood or a door and that’s not the best thing to do,” Doyle said.

You can also buy heat tape and wrap it around your pipes and add insulation on top of it for further warmth.

Adam Pandolfi of the Regional Water Authority said if your home heating system stops working for several days it’s time to shut off the water.

“If you don’t have a generator then you know you’re kind of out of luck. If it goes on for a long enough of time your pipes will freeze so you should close your main valve where the water service enters the home to prevent damage,” Pandolfi said.

He also suggests buying a Styrofoam block to cover your outside water faucet and protect it from the wind.

If you do have problem areas in the home where the pipes are exposed to the cold each year, try your best to heat and insulate but of course it’s a good idea to check in with your plumber on how to keep your pipes from freezing this winter.

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