If we have several days of sub freezing temps, as we are expecting, we could have plumbing issues all over the region. But there are some things you can do now to keep your pipes from freezing.

Experts say one easy thing you can do is open the cabinet doors under your sinks. This helps circulate the heat from the home to those pipes.

You should also open the taps to just a trickle to keep the water flowing. One plumber says "you don't have to turn it on much, just enough for water to move through the pipe. If you have even minimal flow, the pipe won't freeze."

If you forget to do this and your pipes freeze, what should you do?

Turn off the water supply to your house and open a faucet closest to the frozen pipe (it will likely be frozen closest to an exterior wall). You can use a hair dryer to warm up the frozen pipe, but never use an open flame to thaw a pipe. When using the blow dryer, start at the end of the pipe closest to the tap.

As it thaws, water will begin to drip from the open faucet. As you restore the flow of water, you will want to check for cracks or leaks in the pipe.

After we get a hard freeze for several days and you have no water, it is very important to turn off the water to the house before you leave to go stay somewhere else. If you leave and a pipe cracked or burst, once it thaws you could have water all over your house.

When you get back to your house, turn the water back on and watch for a leak. If you still have no flow, use a hair dryer to get the water moving again.

Just remember, you can prevent major cold weather issues by preparing ahead of time. But you need to take steps before the temps drop too far below freezing.

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