The Low Country has had a mild, almost non-existent, winter so far but it is always best to plan ahead. If we do get a spell of cold weather that knocks the temp down to the high teens or low 20s, you should know how to prevent pipes from freezing and breaking. Such temperatures can cause pipes to burst. Some suggestions:
· Know where the main water shutoff value is located. Most new houses have such a value. You close the valve and drain the water from the pipes in the house.
· For older houses with no shutoff value, you may need to cut the water off at the street at the main water line to your house. A special tool is necessary. These tools may be purchased from a hardware store.
· Keep the heat on in the house, to at least 55 degrees if you are away from home for a few days.
· For outside faucets, those on the side of your house can be protected with “faucet protectors”, a Styrofoam type cup that fits over the faucet. Check for these are a hardware store. Alternatively, you can fashion one using a Kuzi and duct tape!
· If you cannot get the water turned off and pipes drained, wrap the pipes with some sort of insulation material. Oddly, newspaper makes a good insulator if tied around the pipes tightly. There are electrical insulators available.
Plan ahead and be prepared!! Do not let a flooded house ruin your day! Remember the cold and snow in January of 2018!