Here's how you can protect your pipes from freezing this winter

Frozen pipe
Posted at 3:14 PM, Feb 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-03 17:59:32-05

(WXYZ)  — As the weather gets colder, the possibility of having to deal with frozen pipes grows.

But your pipes don't have to be a casualty of the frigid temperatures.

RELATED: Harsh cold is on the way with sub-zero wind chills possible in metro Detroit

The American Red Cross reports that the pipes that are more prone to freezing are those that are exposed to severe cold, like water sprinkler lines; pipes in unheated indoor areas, like basements or garages; and pipes that run against exterior walls with limited insulation.

Some local apartment management companies have started advising residents to protect their pipes ahead of the cold expected next week in metro Detroit.

They advise that the heat is left on and set to no lower than 55 degrees , that windows stay closed in the apartment units and that cabinet doors be opened under the kitchen sink and bathroom sink to allow heat to get to the hidden pipes.

Consumer Reports also suggests some simple ways you can help avoid a household disaster.

  • Keep garage doors closed

  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors

  • Let the cold water drip from a faucet

  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature during day and night

  • If you plan to be away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home

  • For the long term, add insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces

In a Consumer Reports blog, John Galeotafiore, who oversees Consumer Reports’ testing of home products and power gear, says “if you suspect the pipes are frozen, be careful when thawing them out because if the pipe has already burst, the water will come flowing out and flood your home."

They list the proper steps to take when attempting to thaw out your pipes here.