Protect yourself from frozen pipes

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - With temperatures this week ranging from the single digits to the 30's chances are good that pipes inside homes can freeze and then burst, resulting in damage and an expensive repair.

As water freezes, it expands, and that's what causes pipes to break.

Pipes that freeze most frequently are ones that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose connections, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.

Also likely to freeze are pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets, as well as pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.

Homeowners can prevent pipes from freezing by keeping garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage, and by opening kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.

According to the American Red Cross, when the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe helps prevent pipes from freezing.

Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.

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