Prepare: See how to prevent frozen pipes, protect plants during cold spell

3 months ago The Advocate 0

An arctic airmass is expected bring the first freeze of the season Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, along with record lows at several locations across south Louisiana.

The week’s forecast will start with temperatures in the mid to high 70s Monday, according to the National Weather Service. The outlook changes for Tuesday and Wednesday when the area could see record-low temperatures and possibly a hard freeze, according to the NWS report.

Cold front could bring record low temperatures, hard freeze to southeastern Louisiana this week

The “roller coaster ride of temperatures,” as the National Weather Service called it, will persist in southeastern Louisiana this week with ne…

When the temperatures drop, certain pipes – including outdoor pipes or pipes in unheated interior areas or areas with little insulation – are all at risk of freezing.

To protect and prevent your pipes from freezing before the cold weather hits, follow these tips from the Red Cross:

–Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines. Do not put antifreeze in these lines, as it can be harmful to the environment and dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife and landscaping.

–Remove, drain and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain, and keep the outside valve open so that any water in the pipe can expand without causing it to burst.

–Add insulation to attics and crawl spaces.

–Check other areas in your home where water supply lines may be located in unheated areas, such as the garage and under kitchen or bathroom cabinets. Hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.

–Consider installing products such as a “pipe sleeve,” “heat tape” or “heat cable” on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can also provide some insulation to exposed pipes.

–Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines there.

–Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate.

–When the weather is very cold, allow cold water to drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes.

If your pipes do freeze in the colder weather, try these tips:

–Keep the faucet open. As the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow again. Running water through the pipe will help to melt ice.

–Apply heat to the frozen section of the pipe by using an electric heating pad, a hair dryer, a portable space heater or with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene, propane heater, charcoal stove or other open flame device to heat the pipe.

–Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If the frozen area is unknown or not accessible, call a licensed plumber.

–If one pipe freezes, check other faucets in the home to see if other pipes have frozen as well.

Of course, make sure all pets are kept insideespecially overnightwhen temperatures drop. 

Find more tips from the American Red Cross here.