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Protecting Your Pipes from the Bitter Cold

ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) -- These sub-zero temperatures mean more than just making sure you and your family are bundled up; it also means making sure the pipes for your water have extra layers.

John Workman, owner of Workman & Sons Plumbing, says there are a few things you should do to ensure they don't freeze. Consider these ideas if your pipes are under the home, on an exterior wall, or in the elements in a crawl space:

  • First, start with heat tape. It can range in cost from $24 to $40, depending on the length. It's a coil that has a thermostat on it, which will heat a section of the water line once it hits a certain temperature.

  • Next, wrap the pipe in a fitted foam insulation. It costs about $3. Workman suggests taping it in place about every six inches.

  • Keep cupboard doors open to allow warmer air to hit the pipes. Close foundation vents in your home to stop cold air and consider keeping the water on a slow drip to prevent freezing.

"Especially if it's in a crawl space in a house," Workman explained about the faucet drip, "it will freeze every once in a while if it gets cold. Turn your faucet on just a little bit, just a slow drip that will stop it from freezing; it keeps that water moving."

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