Protecting Your Pipes In Freezing Weather - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Protecting Your Pipes In Freezing Weather

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SALISBURY, Md. - Sales are high and inventory is low at Ace Hardware. But customers aren't scrambling for shovels, they're stocking up on products that protect pipes.

"Insulating your pipes is very important," said State Farm Agent Tom Prunty.

With the quick weather change, he notes that there are a few key things homeowners should watch out for.

"The biggest thing is to make sure you don't have any open doors under the house. Make sure your crawl space is sealed and that there aren't any exposed pipes."

In homes that were built before 1990, faucets along outside walls should be turned on to a drip, and open the cabinets underneath to let heat circulate. And garden hoses should be removed from the outside faucets. Water along the pipeline will freeze at the spout, and work it's way inside.

Experts say it's not very often that temperatures threaten pipes, but that's all it takes for one tiny crack to cause damage and devastation to a home.

"Even a small crack can release hundreds of gallons of water," Prunty said. "It could be as devastating as a fire. You could be out of your home for months."

If your pipes do freeze, turn your faucets on to allow water that melts to escape, and call a plumber immediately. You should never use an open flame to defrost them, but you can use a hair dryer.

And there are still several products left to protect your pipes - from traditional foam insulation to electric heating systems. A small purchase could save big bucks.

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