5 ways to prevent your pipes from freezing

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois -- Dangerously low temperatures this week can wreak havoc on your health, but also on your home.

Anthony Dejaynes, a plumber with Crawford Company which provides HVAC and plumbing services in the Quad Cities, says there are some simple ways to protect your home from expensive damage:

  • Leave your water faucet dripping as it prevents the water from freezing.
  • Open the cabinets under your kitchen sink and vanity to let warm air in around the pipes.
  • Keep your thermostat above 50-55 degrees. (If you are going out of town, make sure it has fresh batteries.)
  • If you are not home, have someone check on your furnace periodically.
  • Unhook hoses from outdoor spigots.

If pipes do freeze over, use a safe method to apply heat.

"You can use a hair dryer," Dejaynes says. "Sometimes that will get it going. The problem is if it freezes enough, it splits the pipe because (the water) expands. You don’t want that to happen."

If pipes have split, contact a plumber right away before the pipes thaw out, Dejaynes advises.

"That's what's going to cause the water damage. Once they thaw out, your water is going to keep running and running," he says.

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