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Winterizing your home to avoid damage and repair bills

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Posted at 12:22 PM, Oct 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-30 13:22:45-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — As the snow flies, you may be thinking of winterizing your home to avoid burst pipes...which can cause damage and lead to costly repairs. To help get you started, the the Lincoln Transportation and Utilities Department has provided some tips.

They recommend the following:

  • Properly drain and winterize lawn irrigation systems.
  • Remove hoses from exterior faucets. Most newer homes have freeze-proof faucets which drain water when the hose is removed. Older homes may have a valve inside the home that can be shut off.
  • Make sure all areas with plumbing are heated. Space heaters should only be used according to manufacturer instructions and only when supervised.
  • If pipes are concealed in accessible spaces near exterior walls, open cabinet doors to allow warmer air to reach the pipes.
  • Heat tape should be installed according to manufacturer instructions or by a licensed plumber.
  • Running a small amount of water from a kitchen or bathroom faucet for short intervals will usually keep pipes from freezing. About one cup of water every minute is recommended.
  • Locate the water shut-off valve in advance to allow immediate access if there is a leak or break in the plumbing system. The valves are usually near the water meter.

If your pipes burst, they recommend contacting a licensed plumber and say you shouldn't try to use a high-heat device or open flame as this may damage pipes and cause a fire.