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One of the worst plumbing service is a burst pipe, which often occurs when the temperature goes below freezing. When water freezes, it expands; however, it's not the size of the ice itself that causes the pipe to burst, but rather the pressure of the water that is pushed toward the faucet as the ice forms. The most vulnerable pipes are the ones outside the house or in uninsulated areas, like the garage, the basement, or the crawlspace. Fortunately, there are a few things that homeowners can do to protect their pipes and avoid an emergency call to a Plumber in Milford, Massachusetts.

First of all, it's important to drain any outdoor water supply lines. These might include garden hoses, sprinkler systems, and a water supply line to the swimming pool. To drain the hose bib, where the hose connects to the faucet, first shut off the valve to the hose bib inside the house and open the valve outside to let any remaining water drain out.

The next step is to insulate pipes in unheated areas. Cover outdoor faucets and all uninsulated pipes with insulation or heat tape. There are also products called "pipe sleeves" that fit over pipes and provide insulation. Even wrapping outdoor faucets and pipes with newspaper and duct tape can provide a good deal of protection from freezing.

Once the pipes are wrapped, try to minimize their exposure to the cold. If the pipes are in the basement, for example, close windows and vents that direct cold air to toward the pipes. Wind can increase the likelihood of freezing in low temperatures. If windows and doors in the basement or garage are drafty, use weather stripping or other products to seal the service leaks.

Keep your house heated to 68 degrees or above at all times, rather than lowering the thermostat overnight. This is a trade-off since it will increase the electricity bill, but it may prevent an expensive plumbing repair. To increase the circulation of warm air, open cabinet doors in the kitchen and bathrooms.

Finally, let the faucets drip when the weather is very cold. Keeping even a little bit of water circulating through the plumbing system can significantly decrease the chance of freezing.

If the pipes do freeze, it may be possible to thaw them before they burst. A trickle of water from a wide open faucet is one sure sign that a pipe is frozen. Keep the faucet open and apply heat to the pipe with a heating pad or space heater or towels soaked in hot water. If the pipe is too difficult to access, contact a plumber milford for expert assistance.

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