iStock_000011059934XSmallJanuary blew in with a blast of cold weather. While the temperatures have warmed up a bit, don’t expect our cold weather to move on quite yet!  Here are some tips to keep your pipes intact during a freeze.

1. Indoors, open the doors on all cupboards on exterior walls where pipes are (or may be) located. This allows room heat into the cabinets and may be enough to help keep the plumbing from freezing.

2. It may be helpful to leave a *small* drip of cold water running from interior faucets where pipes to those faucets are located on outside walls. To be eco-friendly, put a bucket underneath and use that water for houseplants or pets.

3. If your water heater is located in the garage, adding insulation to pipes and the water heater will save heat and energy. Keep the garage door closed as much as possible to keep heat inside the garage.

4. Disconnect all hoses from ouside spigots. Cover all exposed spigots with insulative caps or covers.

5. BEFORE it freezes .. learn where the water shutoff is for your home and how to use it! If you *do* end up with damaged pipes, you’ll need to know how to shut off the water to minimize further damage.  Also, it helps to have a slotted key to turn off the water valve.

6. If you will be out of town during cold weather, shut off your water at the street, just for safety sake. Then turn on a few faucets inside the home to bleed the system. That’s much better then coming home to a flood!

7. DO NOT use a torch or other device in an attempt to thaw frozen pipes. If they’re split, you’ll likely need a pro to fix them. DO NOT use an electric hair dryer or other heating device to thaw frozen pipes.

8. Keep the heat on in your house!  If you’re going out of town, turn it down low, but not completely off!

Article tips by Mother Earth News