Prevent winter pipe and HVAC nightmares with these tips

WEATHER     What do you do if your pipes freeze?     
       Frozen pipes can burst causing the homeowner thousands of dollars in damage

WEATHER What do you do if your pipes freeze? Frozen pipes can burst causing the homeowner thousands of dollars in damage

Have a friend, relative or neighbor regularly check your property to ensure that the heat is working and the pipes have not frozen.

You can also check that your home is properly insulated, including stretches of insulation around where you keep your water pipes and water storage. Frozen water expands, potentially bursting the pipe and when it thaws leaks develop that can cause considerable damage.

A couple things you need to do tonight, let your faucets drip and do not forget to keep the door to your laundry room open to protect the pipes to your washer. If you lose power, know how to report the outage to your utility company and have alternate, safe means of staying warm.

"I've had several customers that I've worked with that had no idea where their supply actually comes up in their house", said Josh Ostertag.

Let water drip from the highest faucet in the building if you have difficulty protecting pipes in an unheated area or believe your pipes may freeze for other reasons. "A blowtorch can make water in a frozen pipe boil and cause the pipe to explode. If you leave it closed, they probably won't freeze", Cannon said.

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One way to detect a leak is to turn off all spigots then check to see if your water meter is still running. They say to disconnect garden hoses and shut off the outdoor water supply.

Kentucky American Water is offering tips on preventing and dealing with frozen water pipes as bitter cold temperatures hit the Bluegrass. Wrap exposed pipes with insulation or use electrical heat tracing wire; newspaper or fabric might also work. If melted water and ice get caught behind the blockage, the chance that the pipe will burst increases.

If you are in the market for a plumber, Cannon reminds people to do not forget to cancel if you call multiple companies. "That should prevent the line from freezing".

Residents are cautioned to prepare their water systems for the possibility of freezing temperatures. "There's not much else to say but you need to insulate the best you can".

Experts say the minimum heat to keep your house at is 55 degrees, even when the home is empty. Mobile homes are susceptible as are homes with crawl spaces, but he said people know that and take precautions such as using heat tape on exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe helps prevent pipes from freezing. You wanna keep water moving in the pipe.

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