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We experience some cold winters here in the Midwest. Are there ways to make sure the pipes in our home don’t freeze during the winter?

Yes, there are measures you can take before the cold weather arrives to prevent frozen pipes. Disconnect, drain, and store your garden hoses. Remember, if your house is equipped with interior shut-off valves, to close them, then open the outside faucet and drain out all the water. You can keep it open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing a pipe to burst.

You also can insulate water supply lines that are in unheated areas of the home, such as the basement, crawl spaces, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets, to prevent frozen water pipes.

We are going to be away from home for a few weeks during the coldest part of the year. Are there steps we can take to ensure we don’t come home to frozen pipes?

Yes. If you plan to be away from home for an extended period of time, turn off the main water supply. Be sure to set your thermostat at 55 degrees or higher and open cabinet doors under sinks to allow heat to circulate around the pipes.

What if we do come home to a frozen pipe?

If a pipe has frozen, apply heat to the section of pipe using a hair dryer, electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe or a portable space heater. Do NOT use a blowtorch, kerosene heater or other open flame device. When thawing frozen pipes, start nearest to the faucet. Keep the faucet open so water can flow through the frozen area and help melt the ice inside.

If you have significant damage to your home, or you need professional help, call a plumber. Roto-Rooter plumbing and drain professionals can provide assistance when homeowners experience plumbing-related problems inside or outside of the home.

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