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Experts urge residents to protect pipes ahead of hard freeze, provide tips to help

Reporter Perry Robinson discusses tonight's biggest news stories with Greg Meriwether.
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 10:45 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Experts are reminding people to take precautions to protect themselves and their property ahead of this weekend’s freezing temperatures. This includes protecting the four Ps: people, pets, plants, and pipes.

“When pipes burst under a home, they can create thousands of dollars’ worth of damage. Most people can’t afford that. So, you want to take the precautions now, so that you won’t have the problem later,” said Kim Vince, president of Louis Mechanical.

Vince said you should wrap exposed faucets and pipes, including those outside the house or in unheated crawl spaces, attics, garages, and other areas. If you don’t have the foam pipe coverings, a towel or rag and duct tape will do the trick.

She said you should also let your indoor faucets drip and open any cabinets below the sinks in your home to allow the heat to circulate around the water pipes.

Vince said a lot of people are already prepared after dealing with last year’s winter storm.

“People have been more proactive this year I think after last year, as far as we’ve done some insulating of pipes underneath houses months ago,” said Vince.

People like Jeremy Kirkland are trying to stay one step ahead.

“I don’t want to get any pipes burst. You know, would much rather be proactive about the situation,” said Kirkland. “I got a renthouse man. Just have to protect the investment.”

Here are some more tips:

  • Insulate your outdoor water meter box and be sure its lid is on tight.
  • Cover any vents around your home’s foundation.
  • Drain and store water hoses indoors.
  • Protect outdoor electrical pumps.
  • Drain swimming pool circulation systems or keep the pump motor running. (Run the pump motor only in a short freeze. Running the motor for long periods could damage it.)
  • Drain water sprinkler supply lines.
  • Make sure you know where your home’s shut-off valve is and how to turn it on and off.
  • If you leave town, consider turning off your water at the shut-off valve while faucets are running to drain your pipes. Make sure you turn the faucets off before you turn the shut-off valve back on.
  • If you drain your pipes, contact your electric or gas utility company for instructions on protecting your water heater.

If a pipe bursts and floods your home, turn the water off at the shut-off valve. Call a plumber for help if you can’t find the broken pipe or if it’s inaccessible. Don’t turn the water back on until the pipe has been repaired.

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