WILMINGTON — With frigid weather in the forecast for late this week, the Wilmington Water Department is reminding customers they need to be proactive to prevent the pipes in their home from freezing.
Older homes and those with crawl spaces are especially susceptible to having pipes freeze.
Wind gusts from the west of up to 50 mph will create wind chill factors around 20 degrees below zero throughout the day Friday and continuing Friday night. This will make pipes on the west outer walls more susceptible to freezing. This combination of cold and wind creates the potential for freezing pipes in buildings that normally do not have such a problem, according to a news release.
Freezing pipes often burst and create a potentially catastrophic situation for homeowners. The following are tips provided by the National Weather Service to avoid this problem
To keep pipes from freezing on an outside wall:
– Let hot and cold water trickle or drip at night from a faucet.
– Open cabinet doors to allow more heat to get to un-insulated pipes under a sink or near an outer wall.
– Make sure heat is left on and set no lower than 55 degrees.
– If you plan to be away: Have someone check your house daily to make sure the heat is still on to prevent freezing, or drain and shut off the water system (except indoor sprinkler systems).
If pipes freeze:
– Make sure you and your family know where the water shut off valve is, in case pipes burst. Most often, it is near the wall where the water service enters the house. Sometimes, it may be in a utility room.
– Never try to thaw a pipe with an open flame or torch. Use of a flame can result in the building catching fire. Use a hair dryer instead.
– Always be careful of the potential for electric shock in and around standing water
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