SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — As temperatures drop into sub-freezing Tuesday night, Cape Fear Public Utility Authority suggests customers make efforts to protect their pipes.
In Brunswick, New Hanover, and Pender counties frost and freezing conditions are possible as temperatures reach 26 degrees from 11 p.m. Tuesday to 9 a.m. Wednesday. As such, residents should drain water from outdoor plumbing and wrap pipes to prevent bursting.
To avoid freezing, here are a few tips:
- Keep thermostat at the same temperature during daylight and nighttime, no lower than 55 degrees
- Drain and disconnect garden hoses
- Shut off and drain the water system
- Install covers on outside faucets
- If water supply lines are located in the garage, keep doors shut
- Open all cabinets and doors and close all windows to allow circulation of warm air to reach pipes
- Cover or close open-air vents
- Wrap pipes in pipe insulation or heating tape
- Let cold water trickle from faucet to keep water flowing
If pipes do freeze, there are steps to assist in thawing — such as using a hair dryer or wrapping hot wet towels around the pipes. If thawing a pipe, ensure the faucet nearest to it is turned on to drip the water as it melts.
Extreme heat, such as torches, should not be utilized to thaw pipes; it will melt too quickly and can cause the pipes to burst, which poses a safety issue.
If a break is found in a hot water pipe, make sure the water heater valve is closed.
Have plumber and utility company numbers handy in the event of pipe break.
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