JMWSC: How to protect your pipes from freezing this Winter
In the days leading up to colder weather, the Joint Municipal Water and Sewer Commission (JMWSC) is reminding everyone how to prepare their homes to prevent their pipes from freezing.
LEXINGTON, S.C. (WOLO)— In the days leading up to colder weather, the Joint Municipal Water and Sewer Commission (JMWSC) is reminding everyone how to prepare their homes to prevent their pipes from freezing.
Temperatures are expected to be below freezing, causing frozen water to expand, putting stress on metal and plastic pipes that bring water into our homes.
The pipes that freeze are usually those in unheated, interior areas like garages or kitchen cabinets. A step you can take to prevent your pipes from freezing is to allow a faucet (the one furthest from your main shutoff valve) to slowly drip cold water, say officials.
JMWSC offers a few preventive measures that can help:
1 Tightly close doors and windows to the outside.
2 Insulate pipes in unheated or drafty areas. Hardware and plumbing supply stores carry insulation to keep pipes from freezing.
3 Shut off and drain the pipes leading to your outside faucets so no water is left to freeze, expand and cause a leak in these lines.
4 Close the inside valves and drain the pipes leading to your outside hose bib (faucet).
5 Know where your main shutoff valve is and label it. Minimize the potential for water damage by ensuring that everyone in the household knows how to shut off the water in case of an emergency.
6 Open the cabinets beneath any place with a water supply, such as the kitchen and bathroom sinks. This will allow warm air to circulate. (Remove any toxic substances first if there are small children or pets in the home.)
Here are a few ways to spot and fix a frozen pipe:
- First, if you turn on a faucet and only have a trickle of water coming out or no water at all, and it has been very cold for a period of time, suspect a frozen pipe or meter.
- Next, identify whether the problem is throughout the house or in one area. If it’s only in one area of your household, you may be able to thaw the pipe by opening the cabinets and allowing the warmer air to circulate around the pipes.
- NEVER thaw a pipe with an open flame. You can use a hair dryer on low or a portable heater. Avoid using electrical appliances if there is standing water.
- Use warm water to soak towels then wrap the towels around the frozen pipes.
- If the problem persists, contact a licensed plumber for additional guidance.