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Cold Weather Tips to Protect Your Exposed Water Pipes

The cold winter weather will be upon us shortly…Not!  We live in Florida for crying out loud, it’s not, Fargo, North Dakota, but we have been known get an occasional, pesky freeze now and then.  And if we haven’t been diligent in preparing our exposed water pipes for said freezes, you will at least be surprised with no water coming from your fixtures, or worse, broken water piping.  So lets have a look at some simple, but effective steps you can take, to prevent those inconveniences.If you are a lazy sod, at the first sign of an impending freeze, don your slippers and grab a flashlight, (because you know you will wait until the last minute before going to bed) amble out to the outside faucets and turn them all on, and I don’t mean dripping, I want a steady stream, not a blast, but a nice slender stream, and I mean “All Faucets”. The idea is to introduce that nice warm 72 degree water to all the exposed piping.  Water freezes at 32 degrees; if the pipes have 72 degree water running through them, they won’t freeze.  Then amble back to the house, cursing the day your wife read my handy-dandy blog. 

For those little pigs who decided to build their house out of bricks, instead of straw, go down to any one of the large home improvement centers and pick up some foam pipe insulation of the correct inside diameter,   (this stuff looks like those foam swimming pool noodles the kids play with), and are pre-split lengthwise and simply trim to length and affix to all exposed piping. Viola!  Done.

But, if you are caught off guard, and all those God given senses were temporarily nonfunctional, and you didn’t hear a weather report, and you didn’t notice the temperature drop, or the shivering Siberian Husky in the back yard, and you should happen to awaken to no water in the home…. grab the wife’s hair dryer!  And all the extension cords you can find, go to the well head, and open the closest faucet, leave it open,plug in the hair dryer, and massage the small 1/4 inch pipe, that has the pressure switch mounted to it. It’s about the diameter of your pinky finger, and the pressure switch is a device that has a plastic cover on it and is the size of your fist. If you’re lucky, during the heating of that pipe, water might start running out of the faucet you left open.  When the water begins to flow, let it, Rock N Roll, as the temperature in the water will start thawing out the rest of the piping.  Go in the house and turn on the kitchen sink while the outside faucets are running, as the house piping starts to thaw all the fixtures will start running.  Then go to the store and buy the wife a new hair dryer, oh, and pipe insulation, If they have any left!  

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Erica BalesComment