For anyone living in an area where temperatures regularly dip below freezing, a few precautionary steps to help protect your plumbing can be a cost-effective way to help avoid cleaning up after a burst pipe. Consider that the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) says one frozen pipe that bursts may result in more than $5,000 worth of water-related damage.
Read on to find out what the IBHS says you can do to help stay ahead of the freeze.
To check on your pipes, the IBHS suggests turning on each faucet (both hot and cold). If there’s only a trickle of water or, even worse, there’s no water coming out at all, then you should suspect a frozen pipe. The source of the freeze is most likely near an exterior wall or where the main water supply enters your home, says the IBHS, so leave the faucet on and use a blow dryer (never an open flame torch or other device) to help heat the pipe until there’s a steady flow of water.
Of course, if you can’t locate the frozen pipe or just aren’t comfortable doing it yourself, call a plumber.
Remember, a plumber may help with relocating certain pipes to help prevent a similar freeze in the future.
Originally published on February 17, 2014.