Plumbing Tips – From Thawing Frozen Pipes to General Pipe Repairs and Travel Tips!

Any leaks or breaks that occur on private property (the customer’s side) are the responsibility of the property owner. The water meter is what separates city and private property in determining who is responsible for leak repairs.Some of the same natural forces that can cause a city’s water mains to break can also cause pipes to burst in your home or business. Here are some tips to take to avoid costly damage.If a freeze warning is issued, here are a few tips to help prevent your water lines from freezing:o Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors.o Close any inside valves that supply water to outdoor hose bibs.o Open the outside hose bibs and allow the water to drain.o Keep the outside valve open to allow any remaining water in the pipe to expand without causing the pipe to break.o Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.o Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate near the pipes.o Allow a tap to drip slightly to minimize freezing.o When you think about covering your plants, think about how to protect your water pipes, too.o Insulate attic and roof pipes.Check for exposed pipes:Exposed pipes especially those made of plastic material such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), are more susceptible to extreme temperatures, leaks and breaks. Extreme temperatures in both the summer and, occasionally, winter put a toll on exposed plumbing. If you do have any exposed pipes, consider relocating them, insulating them properly or cover them with dirt when practical. It’s best to consult a professional plumber for these services.If a Tap or Pipe Freezes:o If you turn on your taps and nothing comes out, leave the taps on and call a plumber.o Try thawing a frozen tap with a hair dryer – if there is no standing water in the area.o To thaw a frozen pipe, heat water on your stove, and soak towels in the hot water, then wrap the towels around the cold sections of pipe. Start out as close to the tap as possible and make sure the ap is turned on so that as the ice melts, the water can drip out. If you cannot locate where the pipe is frozen, call a plumber.If a Pipe Breaks:o Turn off the water to your house at the main shut-off valve.o Call a plumber.o Leave taps open until all repairs have been completed.Know where your water shut-off valve is and test it regularly:Even if you just need to make a few repairs, knowing how and where to turn off your water is important for every member of the household. For most houses, this valve is usually located at the front of the home, near a hose bib. Look for a pipe coming out of the ground and going into the house. There is usually a valve, knob, or switch on this pipe that turns the water off to your home.Some older houses may have the shut off valve located at the rear of the property. Homes with basements may have the shut off valve located inside the basement or a crawlspace, on a wall facing the street.Travel TipsWhether you’re only going to be gone overnight or for an extended period, lowering the heat too much inside your home may save on the heating bill, but it could create a disaster if a cold spell strikes.o Ask a friend or neighbor to check on your house daily to make sure it’s warm enough inside to prevent freezing pipes.o For long periods away from home, shut off the water to your house and hot water heater where it enters the heater.

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