Middle Tenn. residents warned to protect pipes again

Middle Tenn. residents warned to protect pipes again (Image 1)

Another blast of arctic air is moving in, as many Middle Tennesseans continue to recover from the last one.

Countless homes and businesses suffered damage from burst pipes when below freezing temperatures settled into the Mid-State for several days earlier this month.

With temperatures expected to take another tumble, water customers are being urged to protect their pipes again.

News 2 has gathered the most common tips to help get you through sub-freezing winter weather.

Let faucets drip and leave open cabinet doors. A light, steady stream of water may show up on your monthly service bill, but the cost is small compared to any damage done by frozen or burst pipes. Opening cabinet doors will allow warm air to circulate around the plumbing.

Locate the water cut-off valve at your home. If pipes burst, the water should be cut-off immediately to prevent further damage.

Wrap exposed pipes by using insulated materials under sinks, in crawl spaces, near windows or any other space where the cold might have access.

Cover outside vents to keep winter winds out and warm air in.

While you're outside, take a few minutes to unhook any water hoses connected to the home or building, and cover the spigot to prevent water line freeze up. An inexpensive and easy-to-install Styrofoam cover should do the trick.

If you notice frozen water on plumbing, do not use an open flame to thaw the pipes. Not only do you risk starting a fire, but the flame can create steam, which creates pressure, which can bust pipes.  Instead, use a hair dryer or hot towels.

Freezing temperatures and frozen pipes don't always lead to broken plumbing.  Water freezes at 32 degrees, but experts say your pipes usually burst when temperatures drop into the teens and twenties.

Structures in southern climates are often seen as more vulnerable to weather-related plumbing problems because pipes are more likely to be located in unprotected areas outside of home or building insulation.

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