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Saturday, January 04, 2014

Freezing Temperatures Cause Water Problems

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Westport firefighters were kept busy today with water problems caused by the freezing temperatures.

Broken sprinkler heads occurred at the Westport Library in late morning and at mid-afternoon at the Birchwood Country Club, according to dispatchers.

In addition, a building on Riverside Avenue experienced a broken water pipe.

The American Red Cross issued guidelines about preventing water problems in cold weather. They include:

—Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.

—Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.

—When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - 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.

—If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

—If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.

—Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.

—Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.

—Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.

—Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.

Posted 01/04 at 08:48 PM

Comments:     Comment Policy

We had today, for the first time in15 years a frozen pipe, which had previously frozen and broke.  Since then it was insulated by our contractor…...with no problems until today’s frozen pipe.  It was below zero when we woke.  I agree with all of the suggestions regarding avoiding this problem but I would like to add…if you open a kitchen cabinet below the main sink which is usually close to the outside, please block it with chairs or a baby gate so your pet(s) can’t get to the soaps and cleaners most people store under the kitchen sink.  They reference children but don’t forget the pets can get in trouble too.

Posted by Lauren Siegert on January 05, 2014 at 01:37 AM | #

Keeping your garage doors closed not only for frozen pipes but for general savings on your heating bill as well. We just changed the garage doors on a gas station in Manchester NH… The difference was like night and day on heating the bays. I would not be surprised if they save enough money in one full winter season to pay for their upgrade to insulated garage doors. We are scheduled to change the door on two of there other stations as well.

Posted by Robert DiNoto on February 16, 2014 at 01:14 PM | #

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