With winter weather approaching both Texas and Oklahoma, it’s a good idea to protect your pipes from rupturing.

Temperatures are expected to fall into the single digits over the next few days, which may cause the water in your pipes to freeze.  Once the water in your pipes freezes, it expands, and that can cause them to either crack, or break all together.  This can be particularly disastrous, when it warms up, and the snow and ice melt.   When that happens, the water that was frozen in your pipes, can flood into your home.

In order to help residents, protect their pipes from rupturing, the City of Wichita Falls has released some tips on how to protect your home’s plumbing from the approaching winter storm.

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First and foremost, when freezing temperatures are approaching, you want to be sure that any exposed pipes that are either under you sink, or inside cabinets are fully insulated.  Be sure to keep your cabinet doors open, which to keep the pipes warm, as the heat circulates through the house.  Also, check for any cracks near pipes, which would allow cold air in from the outside, and seal them by caulking any cracks.

If your home has a garage, don’t open your garage doors, unless you have to head out on the roads.  Keeping your garage doors closed, will help keep the cold air from entering your home.

The city also strongly recommends that you protect the plumbing located outside your home.  First, disconnect your garden hoses from all outdoor water faucets, to prevent your faucets from freezing.  Then cover all outdoor faucets with an insulating faucet cover.  If you do not have a faucet cover, then you can wrap the faucet with either an old t-shirt or a rag, cover the fabric with a plastic bag, and duct tape it in order to secure it.  The city also recommends that you insulate any exposed water piping that is located outside the home.

Now if the water in your pipes freezes, and your pipes end up rupturing, you should immediately use your private shutoff valve to turn off the water.  If you cannot find your shutoff valve, or do not have one, then you can contact the city to turn it off for you.

Then the best course of action is to contact a plumber ASAP.  A licensed plumber can safely thaw the water, and repair any broken pipes.

If you need more information how to protect your pipes from the freezing weather, you can read the cities press release by clicking here.

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