Snap, Crackle, POP!

Not a sound you’ll want to hear when the temps are in the frigid-zone. If you don’t take care of your pipes that might be exactly what you have to deal with.—-

And the Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW) is doing a bit of hand-wringing over the matter. In a press release, the Water Works is urging people to take a few moments to make sure all is well in the plumbing department.

“We are extremely concerned with the low temperatures forecasted for the next few nights,” says Dave Bennett, a field services manager at GCWW. “We want to do everything we can to help customers prevent frozen pipes.”

A few familiar, but important reminders from the press release can help.

  • Pipes that run through unheated areas or against exterior walls are most susceptible to freezing. For people concerned about frozen pipes, GCWW strongly recommends letting a steady stream of water about the width of pencil lead flow from faucets susceptible to freezing. If the pipes are under a kitchen or bathroom sink, keep the cabinet doors open to allow more home heat to reach the pipes.

  • If homes are vacant and unheated, turn off all the water and drain the system. Turn off the main shut-off valve, then turn on all faucets, sinks, tubs, showers, etc. and flush the toilets. Turn off the water heater. Then go back to the main shut-off valve and remove the plug so it can drain completely. Disconnecting and draining outdoor hoses may also help prevent a frozen pipe or faucet.

  • An important reminder: if you have frozen pipes, NEVER use a torch with an open flame to thaw pipes. It is a fire hazard and can further damage pipes and soldered joints. A hair dryer with a low heat setting is the easiest and safest tool to use to thaw frozen pipes. A heat lamp or electric lamp is also acceptable.

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