Cold Weather Schmold Weather
When Mother Nature or Old Man Winter gets a ruffle in their feathers and decides to make it really cold....and I mean REALLY COLD, you have to take precautions. The biggest one is getting your hind part inside the house...stay out of the elements...preferably with a beverage by the fire. Even if you are not by the fire...with a beverage, you should be sure of another thing...make sure your heat works......but those are obvious right? Your pipes from faucets are exposed to the elements even though they go down under your house. When cold air hits them, if the air is cold enough, it could possibly freeze them....worst case they could bust. So take a few minutes and read these five precautions to take so you don't get stuck being Harry the Homeowner and writing checks all Winter.
Drip Your Faucets
Go to your faucets and drip them just enough to where there is a drop of water every 10 seconds or so...it doesn't have to be running on full speed or even very low speed...just enough to see drops moving out. This slows the freezing process by have the water moving through the pipes.
Open Cabinet Doors
By opening your cabinet doors you are letting the conditioned (warm) air enter into the cabinets and warming the pipes. This may not help the pipes in the walls, but it will keep water moving limit damage if they freeze.
If you can tell the water is moving very slowly when you turn on the tap you can bet the water is well on the way of being frozen...kind of like your favorite slushy at the 7/11....at 2am. By wrapping the pipes you can slow down the freezing process and possibly stop it cold in it's tracks:)). Warm wet towels should do the trick.
Go and borrow your Mom or sister's hairdryer if yours is in the shop. If a pipe is frozen and you can somewhat get an idea of the frozen area of the pipe...turn old faithful on and start warming the pipes...it will loosen the ice and lessen the chance of busting them.
Water Main Shut Off
Are your pipes already frozen? Go ahead and shut off the water at the main water shut off...it should be in a closet on the lowest floor of your castle...if you have a dungeon or a basement...that is your lowest floor....you should find it there. Righty tighty lefty loosy....choose righty tighty. This way no more water is entering the home to freeze if you have a melt and refreeze and you are not going to be home.