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How to keep pipes from freezing during bitter cold

Published: Jan. 23, 2022 at 7:03 AM EST
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PAINESVILLE, Ohio (WOIO) - As more snow is predicted for Northeast Ohio, it’s clear the freezing temperatures are not going away anytime soon. That’s why it’s important to protect your water pipes from freezing.

Because if your pipes do freeze up, they could burst, flooding your home, and leading to very expensive damage.

The experts with H. Jacks Plumbing and Heating Company tell 19 News they have been working 24/7, responding to homes with frozen pipes and heavy damage in some cases.

At one home they were servicing in Painesville on Saturday, we’re told the homeowners were fortunate enough to be home when water started flooding the basement. Bill Jenkins is the General Manager for H. Jacks Plumbing and Heating Company, “These lines here were solid ice. They’ve melted some since we cut them apart. They have a broken water line that ruptured and froze upstairs on the first floor, all the water damage came down here through the floor and the basement.”

The experts at H. Jacks Plumbing and Heating Company immediately came out to help and tell me the homeowners did the right thing by shutting off the main water valve at the meter, “It definitely helped minimize flooding,” Jenkins said.

Now, the crew from H. Jacks Plumbing and Heating Company will have to trace back to find out where the leak started, so it can be repaired, and it could mean cutting into the walls.

“The water line runs up the wall here to the second floor, and somewhere in there is where the water’s actually leaking, you can see water damage on the floor,” Jenkins said.

So, what can you do to protect your water pipes and your home from the deep freeze?

If you’re going to be away for a long period of time during the frigid temperatures, Jenkins says, “Shut off the main water valve at the meter. Shut it off and drain some of the pressure out of it. So, if it does rupture during the day and no one’s home, you’re going to avoid a lot of damage. Also, if you’re concerned your water pipes will freeze, leave the faucets on to trickle a little bit of warm water. If water is moving it’s less likely to freeze.

It’s also a good idea if you have water lines under a cabinet in the kitchen to open the cabinets so the warm air from heating your home can keep the pipes warm.

And it’s important to make sure the pipes are properly insulated, constant cold air blowing through can make for an expensive problem.

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