Excerpt from the American Red Cross:
Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor water faucets, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Also, pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.
A 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can leak up to 250 gallons of water a day, causing flooding, serious structural damage, and the immediate potential for mold.
frozen pipesIn the U.S., frozen pipes cause significant damage every year, but they often can be prevented. There are three common causes of frozen pipes:
1. Quick drops in temperature.
2. Poor insulation.
3. Thermostats set too low.
Luckily, there are a number of preventative steps you can take to keep your pipes from freezing:
If Your Pipes Do Freeze…
Again, if your water pipes have already burst, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve in the house; leave the water faucets turned on and call 911.
Make sure everyone in your family knows where the water shutoff valve is and how to open and close it. Likely places for the water turn-off valve include internal pipes running against exterior walls or where water service enters a home through the foundation. If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat set to a temperature no lower than 55ºF.
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