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I want to offer a few tips to help in the Winter months so that you don’t have the unwanted expense of something that could be prevented. My son who recently married, went away for the weekend. We had to go unlock the house for our other Son who had left something over there.  It was a cold weekend and when my Husband unlocked the door and went inside he said it was very cold in the home and when he looked at the thermostat, he noticed that the heat was turned off.  Now you must know that my 21 year old “young “ son was probably trying to save money.  What he did not know that what he did could have cost “a lot of money” if his pipes had froze then burst due to the freezing temperatures that we experienced that weekend. One solution is to drain the water system. This is the best thing to do.  With no water in the pipes, there is no freezing.  This remedy should be considered even when the homeowner is not leaving but is worried about an overnight freeze.  To drain the system, shut off the main valve and turn on every water fixture (both hot and cold lines) until water stops running.  It’s not necessary to leave the fixtures open, since the system is filled mostly with air at that point and not subject to freezing. When returning to the house, turn on the main valve and let each fixture run until the pipes are full again.

If you are at home and you expect freezing temperatures then letting a faucet drip during extreme cold weather can prevent a pipe from bursting. It’s not that a small flow of water prevents freezing ; this helps, but water can freeze even with a slow flow. Rather, opening a faucet will provide relief from the large amount of pressure that builds between the faucet and the ice blockage when freezing occurs. If there is no excessive water pressure, there is no burst pipe, even if water inside the pipe freezes. A dripping faucet wastes some water, so only pipes vulnerable to freezing (one that runs through an unheated or unprotected space) should be left with water flowing. The drip can be very slight. Even the slowest drip at normal pressure will provide pressure relief when needed.   Where both hot and cold lines serve a spigot, make sure each one contributes to the drip, since both are subjected to freezing.  If the dripping stops, leave the faucet(s) open, since a pipe may have frozen and will still need pressure relief.

Taking these steps can prevent a headache and a  possible claim.

My name is Jeannie Tolman and I have been working in Personal lines insurance for 10 years.  I enjoy helping people save money and help meet their personal insurance needs.  If you have any questions , please contact me at 918-341-2196 or email me at jtolman@burrowsagency.com.

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