DECATUR, Ala. — Decatur Utilities wants to make sure you know how to protect your pipes in freezing weather. Here are some tips for protecting those pipes.
- Make sure exterior faucets are protected with a foam, insulating cover
- Disconnect outside water hoses
- Make sure foundation vents and crawl space access doors are CLOSED to keep frigid air from infiltrating the crawl space
- If you have inside faucets on exterior walls, open cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate
- Leave water dripping slightly from interior faucets to keep water moving through your pipes
- Know where your main water line cutoff valve is located.
If your pipes freeze:
- Cut the main valve off to house. If you don't know where this is, contact your utility provider.
- It's always advisable to contact a licensed plumber to assist with thawing pipes
- However, if you attempt to thaw pipes yourself:
- Keep faucets open to allow water to flow and potential steam to escapeApply heat to the frozen pipe using a hair dryer or hot towels. Do NOT use open flame heat such as acetylene torches, etc due to risk of fire. Space heaters are okay - IF the area is free of combustible materials!
- Apply heat safely until water flow returns to normal.
- Once water flow returns, examine ALL remaining faucets in the home to make sure no additional pipes are frozen
- If you hear running water inside a wall OR see evidence of a leak, turn the main valve to your house off immediately and call a plumber.