FrozenPipes JimmyJoe onFlckr - https://www.flickr.com/photos/joc67/318951722Winter weather in Alabama is unpredictable. It has been both unseasnably warm and cold! It is only a matter of time before the cold weather moves in to stay for a while. You can save yourself a lot of time, trouble and expense by being prepared.

One of the dangers - which is easily preventable - is frozen pipes. The American Red Cross provides this helpful information to get you ready:​

Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.

  • Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions.
  • Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas.
  • Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can also provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
There are many more tips for protecting pipes, and also information about what to do if your pipes freeze, on the Red Cross website. ​If your pipes have frozen and you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
Image courtesy of Jimmy_Joe