Southeast Idaho is a great place to live! The pleasure of living here comes with certain responsibilities. One of those is learning how to handle the cold temperatures and snow. An important bit of knowledge to remember is not to forget the pipes in your house! You don’t want to come home to a flooded house full of water damage because a pipe froze and burst. Just a 1/8 inch crack in a pipe can spew up to 250 gallons of water a day! Both plastic and copper pipes can burst when they freeze.
So how do you avoid this disaster? In a word…prevention. Insulate your pipes. The better insulated they are, the safer you are. Another option is to use heat tape on your pipes. Seal any air leaks that might be coming in the areas where your pipes are.
When the cold temperatures show up, you could keep a trickle of hot and cold water turned on in a faucet (preferably one on the outer wall of a house). You can open the cabinet doors to let warm air surround the exposed pipes. If you are leaving town make sure you leave the heat on in your house
If you turn your water on in your faucet and nothing happens, call a plumber. Just because your pipes are frozen does not mean they have burst. Do not use torches to thaw pipes. Some water damage is preferable to a burned down house. You could use a hair dryer to try to thaw pipes, just make sure you do not plug it in around water.
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If a pipe has burst, assess the situation and do not walk through water that has a chance of being electrified. Shut off the main water valve. It’s a good idea to make sure everyone in your house knows how to turn off the main water valve. Then call a professional to help clean up the water and prevent any further damage.