Ways to protect your pipes from freezing this winter

With winter looming, it’s important to protect your pipes.

The City of Beloit Water Resources shared these winter maintenance tips on Tuesday.

Check the temperature of your water

Ground water temperatures are typically in the upper 40s and lower 50s. Homeowners are encouraged to check water temperature by placing a digital thermometer in a cup of tap water. If it’s getting close to 32 degrees you should take action to prevent freezing.

Prevent freezing of service lateral by keeping water moving

Homeowners can run water continuously during a prolonged, severe cold snap, especially if they live in an area that is susceptible to freezing, such as a dead-end street or cul-de-sac. A stream about the width of a pencil is typically sufficient to prevent freezing. Turning faucets on at random times throughout the day can also prevent freezing.

Check Heating Components

Keeping furnaces working properly and replacing filters regularly can also hope.People are also encouraged to check heat tapes and space heaters used with control elements.

Be careful when thawing frozen pipes

For exposed pipes in buildings you can use a hair dryer. For underground metal pipes, it’s best to call a professional. Newer methods of pipe thawing use recirculating hot water or steam. These methods are much safer than an electrical current, and they also have the additional benefit of being effective on nonmetallic pipes such as plastic or PVC.

Check empty and vacant buildings

People are encouraged to check on vacant properties. A great deal of frost or condensation on windows may indicate that a heating system has failed and water may be running due to frozen and broken pipes.

Make plans while traveling

If you are going away during the winter, Beloit Water Resources recommends having a friend, family member or neighbor occasionally run water for you.

Check for cold air drafts

Officials also warn that cold air blowing on your pipes can cause them to freeze, even if your house and basement are warm. Cold air drafts could be caused by a window or a small gap in you wall. Run your hand along your pipes to see if there are any cold drafts. If any are found, repair immediately to prevent the pipes from freezing.

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