Nothing adds misery to post-holiday gloom like plumbing pipes bursting in sub-freezing air, a threat in the Triangle as the temperature dips into the teens.
State Farm Insurance estimates an eighth-inch crack can spew 250 gallons of water in a single day, and the average cost of repairs runs $15,000.
So take this list of tips from Aqua Plumbing of Fuquay-Varina, all aimed at keeping sinks flowing and showers showering.
▪ Disconnect hoses. Leaving them attached can keep pipes from draining, leading to cracks and leaks.
▪ Close vents. Crawl spaces will typically not drop below freezing, but pipes are vulnerable if the vents are left open.
▪ Open cabinets. If a faucet is on an exterior wall, leaving the cabinet open allows the warm air to surround the pipes. Be sure to remove all harmful chemicals that pets or kids might find.
▪ Leave a trickle. Motion in the pipes can prevent freezing, so allow sinks along exterior walls to drip. Be sure to leave the cold and hot sides dripping so both kinds of pipes are drawing water.
▪ Private well? Install a light bulb in the well house and turn it on.
A few more from State Farm:
▪ Thermostat. Keep it running at the same temperature day and night. Saving a few dollars with a lower nighttime setting isn’t worth the risk.
▪ Insulate. Before next winter sets in, consider insulation in attics, crawlspaces and around exposed piping. Heat tape can also be used to wrap pipes.
▪ Absolute no-nos: Torches on pipes. Antifreeze in plumbing. Magical thawing spells.