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Protect your water pipes from winter weather

By Jennifer Kendall, jkendall@ktxs.com
Published On: Dec 05 2013 08:30:11 PM CST
Water faucet

Ferre' Dollar/CNN

ABILENE, Texas -

The cold weather could mean major trouble for water pipes. Anytime temperatures dip below freezing the water in your pipes can expand causing pipes to burst.

"Once you get below 32° and it starts freezing that's what everybody needs to start getting worried," said Darrin Black, owner of Black Plumbing in Abilene.

 Black said the longer the cold temperatures stick around, the more serious the threat.

“Once we have an extended freeze for that long that's when the pipes usually freeze and when they thaw out we discover what burst," said Black.

Here are some tips on how to prevent that from happening.

"Turn your faucet on to where it's just barely dripping The running water won't freeze," said Black. 

"Any faucet or waterlines you have that are on outside walls you can just open up the cabinets," he added.

 Also remove garden hoses from outside faucets and cover the faucet.

"If the faucets aren't covered on the outside then those freeze immediately. It cuts off all the water supply to your house so you have no shower, you have no drinking water," said Joe Welsh, store supervisor for Home Depot in Abilene.

Other things to think about are to shut off water to washing machines in unheated garages and turn off any irrigation systems.