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February 11, 2014

Prevent Frozen Pipes

Cold weather and wind chills are here. This means we can expect frozen water pipes and water damage if exposed areas aren’t properly insulated. Water expands as it freezes which can cause pipes to break. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those exposed to the severe cold, like water supply pipes in unheated interior areas; basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages, or even kitchen cabinets. Check for water supply lines in your home that are located in unheated areas. Both the hot and cold water pipes should be insulated. Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a “pipe sleeve” or installing UL-listed “heat tape,” “heat cable,” or similar materials on exposed pipes.

Take preventative action and when the weather is very cold, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe, even at a trickle, helps prevent the pipes from freezing.

If you suspect that your pipes are frozen, keep the faucet open as you treat the frozen pipe. As the frozen area begins to melt, water will flow through and help melt ice in the pipe. Apply heat to the section of pipe by using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer or portable space heater. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater. Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.

 We at RMU strive to provide quality customer service in all areas of our operation. If you have questions or concerns, please call the RMU Customer Service office at 815-562-4155.