Preventing frozen pipes during upcoming cold snap

Preventing frozen pipes during upcoming cold snap
Published: Jan. 6, 2014 at 3:31 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 6, 2014 at 4:05 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The freezing weather right around the corner doesn't only mean paying close attention to staying warm, but also protecting your home and avoiding frozen pipes.

Customers at Charleston Hardware in West Ashley have been buying up space heaters and lots of firewood.

Co-owner Michael Metz said, "We got things that'll help you keep warm but you got to protect the pipes and the outside faucets and stuff like that."

With the weather expected to reach bone chilling temperatures this week, freezing pipes are what Metz says everyone should try to avoid.

Water expands as it freezes and there are several ways to help stop a pipe from bursting.

Metz says you can buy pipe wrap insulation to put over your exterior pipes.

According to the American Red Cross, pipes that are most vulnerable to freezing are usually in unheated areas like your attic, garage or even in kitchen cabinets.

Outside faucets where you can hook up your water hose are also prone to freezing up.

Demonstrating how a faucet cover works Metz said, "It basically just goes over your faucet and sits there against the house so this area is protected from your exterior weather."

These items cost between two and eight dollars each, a lot less than you would fork out to repair a damaged pipe.

"Depending on how old your pipe is and what kind of pipe you're using, that could cost you a lot because that could mean repipping the whole house which is copper," said Metz.

There are still ways to help protect your pipes even if you don't have any insulation supplies.

Metz said, "You may just want to leave your faucet outside running with a drip just so the water is actually moving in there versus sitting in there."

The Red Cross also says if water only trickles out of your faucet after a cold snap, the pipe could be frozen. They suggest you leave the water running until the frozen area begins to melt.

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