Take precautions to prevent water pipes from freezing during col - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Take precautions to prevent water pipes from freezing during cold weather

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CHARLESTON, SC - With low temperatures in Monday's forecast, Charleston Water System reminds customers to take precautions to prevent their home and irrigation pipes from freezing.

Because water expands when it freezes, pipes that freeze are at risk of breaks and leaks. Exposed pipes and backflow preventers are especially vulnerable to freezing and should be insulated by with towels or insulation materials sold at hardware stores. Customers with raised foundations and exposed pipes should also let an inside faucet drip overnight, as moving water is less likely to freeze.

If your pipes freeze, the ice will thaw as daytime temperatures rise, but keep the following in mind:
  1. If you're going to be at home, open a faucet and wait until water begins flowing again. Listen for leaks-water expands when it freezes, which can cause leaks in pipes. If you discover a leak, turn off the water supply to your home at the main shut-off valve and contact a plumber. 
  2. If you're planning to leave your home, turn off your water supply at the main shut-off valve. This will prevent water damage from potential leaks in your plumbing. If you have a leak, contact a plumber.
For more tips, visit our web site at www.charlestonwater.com.

Charleston Water System's mains are not at risk of freezing, but temperature wide fluctuations can cause thermal expansion and contraction, which increases the risk of leaks at pipe joints and valves, particularly on older water mains. Charleston Water System crews are prepared to respond quickly to such leaks and can typically make a repair in a few hours
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