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As we move through fall and prepare for what could be another long and cold winter, plumbing is an important consideration for home and business owners alike. At Whipple Plumbing, our technicians are here to help with all preparations for the winter season.

One important area when it comes to plumbing over the winter is preventing frozen pipes, which can lead to numerous issues. Here are some basics on avoiding frozen pipes, plus how to handle the situation if they do become an issue.

Avoiding Frozen Pipes

Here are some general tips for avoiding frozen pipes over winter:

  • Wrap pipes in basements or crawl spaces with heat tape or insulated sleeves.
  • If your water heater is in a cold area like the basement, consider an insulated blanket to place over it.
  • Ensure all heating vents are open and nothing is blocking heat flow.
  • Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets, especially those connected to pipes that run through unheated spaces.
  • Keep cabinet and pantry doors open slightly to allow warmer air to circulate around pipes in the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Make sure the thermostat is set to the same temperature during the day as at night. If you leave town, make sure the thermostat is up to at least 55 degrees while you’re gone.

Handling Frozen Pipes

If you do find frozen pipes, a few tips:

  • Locate the general area where the pipe has frozen. This will generally be anywhere against an exterior wall, or any area where water service enters the home through the foundation.
  • Keep faucets open. Once the pipe begins to thaw, water fill flow. Running warm water through a pipe can help melt the ice.
  • If possible, apply heat to the frozen section of the pipe using a heating pad, hair dryer or a portable space heater.

Shutoff Valve

Every homeowner should know where their main shutoff valve is located, especially in winter. If pipes burst, turning the main water supply off as quickly as possible is vital to preventing water damage and other major issues. Ask one of our plumbers if you’re unsure where your shutoff valve is.

For more on frozen pipe prevention, or for any emergency plumbing issues that arise during the colder months, call the professionals at Whipple Plumbing.

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