Putnam PSD offers tips to prevent frozen pipes - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Putnam Public Service District offers tips to prevent frozen pipes during cold weather

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Every winter, Putnam PSD is called to temporarily shut off service for numerous homes and businesses that have experienced leaks and/or plumbing damage as a result of the freezing of water in internal pipes. As ice forms, it expands in volume and can therefore result in broken pipes and fittings and create a leak that can lead to property damage and expensive repair costs for the property owner. In order to reduce your risk of frozen pipes, here are some preventative measures you can take:

· Insulate pipes that are located in unheated portions of a building such as basements, crawlspaces, and garages.

· If any spigots for garden hoses or sprinkler systems are located on the outside of the building, ensure that the valves leading to them are shut off and the pipes are drained.

· If any sinks are located on an external wall, leave the cupboard doors underneath them open so the pipes can be warmed by your building's heating system.

· On nights when it is expected to be particularly cold, leave one or two faucets running with a thin (size of a pencil lead) stream of water. The flow will help keep the water in the pipes moving, thereby reducing the freeze risk.

· Make sure that your building's walls and windows are well-insulated and all cracks that may let cold air inside are repaired.

Property owners are responsible for leaks and repairs beyond the water meter; following these tips before the arrival of frigid weather can pay dividends by helping to avoid costly repairs.
 
If you do experience pipe freeze, attempt to thaw the frozen portions of the pipes with a hair dryer (never a blow torch or other open flame, per risk of fire). Once the pipes are thawed, check for visible leaks and ensure that you do not have low water pressure. If you need assistance thawing pipes or finding and repairing leaks, think safety first and call your landlord, a plumber, or a trusted friend.