Here comes the cold: Tips for keeping your pipes working - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Here comes the cold: Tips for keeping your pipes working

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With some of the coldest weather we've had in some time arriving this week, Tennessee American Water reminds all of us with tips to keep your water pipes in working order.
Before cold weather sets in:

  • Check sprinkler or irrigation systems. Make sure you have turned everything off and fully drained the system.
  • Identify your home's freezing points. Check your home for pipes in areas that might be prone to freezing, such as crawl spaces, unheated rooms, basements, garages, and exterior walls.
  • Know how to shut off your water. Locate your main water shut-off valve. You may want to tag or label it so you do not have to search for it in an emergency.
  • Strengthen your defenses. Eliminate sources of cold air near water lines by closing off crawl spaces, fixing drafty windows, insulating walls and attics, and plugging drafts around doors.
  • Protect your pipes. Where pipes are exposed to cold, wrap them with insulation or electrical pipe heater (even fabric or newspaper can help).

READ MORE | Channel 3 Storm Alert forecast

When temperatures stay below freezing:

  • Prevent pipes from freezing. Allow a small trickle of water to run overnight to keep pipes from freezing. Consider collecting the water for later use. Also, the cost of a short-term trickle is much less costly than a repair of a burst pipe.
  • Keep your pipes warm. Open cabinet doors to expose pipes to warmer room temperatures to help keep them from freezing.

If your pipes do freeze:

  • Shut off the water immediately. Don't attempt to thaw pipes without first turning off the main shut-off valve.
  • Thaw pipes with warm air. You can melt the frozen water in the pipe by warming air around it with a hair dryer or space heater. Be sure not to leave the space heater unattended and avoid the use of kerosene or open flames.
  • Be careful turning water back on. Once pipes are thawed, slowly turn the water back on and double check for any additional cracks and leaks.

Customers can contact Tennessee American Water at 1-866-736-6420 anytime of day or night to start or stop service, report a main break or damaged fire hydrant or other water service-related issues.

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