It’s really starting to get cold in Colorado, and we’re here with some essential tips on how to keep your pipes from freezing this winter, as well as what to do if they do freeze. There are several measures that can be taken to prevent winter water disasters in your home. Below, we describe a few of the basics.
- Locate and mark the main water cutoff valve for your home. This cutoff valve is usually found near where the water line comes into your house. Damage from running water can be minimized if you turn off this valve quickly.
- Make sure the water line to outside faucets is turned off and the lines are drained.
- Consider wrapping or insulating your water pipes, especially those pipes near outside walls, under the house, or in the attic. Insulation supplies are available at the Bell Plumbing and Heating parts counter in our retail store at 2150 S. Abilene St., Aurora, CO, 80014.
- Eliminate drafts. Check around the home for areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas and take measures to prevent the flow of cold air in these areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated. A hot water supply line can freeze just as a cold water supply line can freeze if water is not running through the pipe and the water temperature becomes cold.
If your water pipes do freeze, never try to thaw a pipe with an open flame or torch. Contact Bell Plumbing and Heating’s service department @ 303-757-5661. We’ll give you recommendations based on your home’s pipe layout. Know where your water shutoffs are! Sometimes it’s best to wait until the weather warms up a bit before attempting to thaw or repair the pipe. Call us and we’ll figure out the best plan of attack!
What do I do if my water meter freezes? If you suspect you have a frozen water meter, call your local water company for help.
- If your heating system breaks down or is off for a I prolonged period of time, take steps to protect yourself – and your home. Call Bell Plumbing and Heating @ 303-757-5661 for repair or replacement. Make sure to protect your home’s water pipes from freezing, and consider staying with relatives or friends to avoid exposure to cold while repairs are being made.
- Know the warning signs of hypothermia, a condition I brought on by prolonged exposure to cold – whether – inside or outside. The body temperature becomes abnormally low – 95 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Symptoms can include shivering; stiffness or numbness in the arms or legs; cold, pale patches of pink-purple or blue-gray skin; or mental changes such as confusion or the inability to focus.
- Seek medical attention immediately.
- Never use your stovetop or oven for heating. Continuous burning could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning and fire hazards.
- Change the furnace filter at least once a month during the winter for safety and energy efficiency.