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Temps Plunging to -6 Sunday, How to Protect Your Pipes

Yes, -6, as in minus 6 degrees, forecast for this Sunday. Every time this happens, some Muirfield residents experience frozen pipes. If a pipe bursts, the water damage can run into the thousands. Most of our Muirfield homes are built with sufficient insulation to withstand that drop, but why take chances when a few simple steps can help you avoid the problem. Pipes at risk are those running along outside-facing walls, or through unheated areas like crawl spaces.So here is what you can do to prevent the problem ...

  1. If the pipe is on an outside wall, feeding a sink faucet with a cabinet underneath, open the cabinet door fully to allow room heat to enter the cabinet.
  2. If pipes are in a crawl space, be sure you are not covering the opening to the crawl space, just like opening a cabinet door, and also be sure you have left your basement heat registers fully open.
  3. If you will be away this weekend,maybe do not lower your thermostat to save money. Let it remain at comfort level temps. And ask a friend to check the house, turning on and outside fauet to be sure water flows through freely.
  4. Consider running water, both hot and cold, through those same pipes for a few seconds before bedtime or if there is an extended time of cold during the day without use of those fixture.
  5. Keep garage doors closed except for entering and leaving.
  6. Know where the main water shutoff valve is, near your water meter in the basement, in case you need to do that.

If you should turn on a faucet and have no flow or only a trickle, find solutions for unfreezing here: https://www.consumerreports.org/home-maintenance-repairs/how-to-keep-pipes-from-freezing/ One suggestion here I disagree with is using a hair dryer to warm a pipe that has frozen. I did that years ago in an older home and the rapid warming caused the pipe to burst.

Finally, the City and your neighbors ask you to please get cars out of the street and into your driveway when snow is happening or forecast. Help our hard working City snow plow drivers get the job don effectively and efficiently. ANd year round, please secure the lid of your recycle bins in windy conditions so that papers don't blow all over our beautiful Muirfield. Thanks!

Published January 11, 2019

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