The weather this week has been cold, really cold, with a freeze warning that is expected to end sometime Wednesday.
According to the National Weather Service in Jackson, temperatures this week in Greenville dropped to a low of 20 degrees Tuesday evening but are picking up a little Wednesday with a high of 46 degrees.
“It won’t be near as windy tomorrow,” said NWS meteorologist Anna Wolverson.
The low for tonight is expected to be 32 degrees. Looking into the rest of the week, temperatures are expected to hover in the mid-to-upper 40s during the day and low 30s at night.
With temperatures dropping to freezing temperatures at night, the American Red Cross has a few suggestions for avoiding freezing pipe issues.
Pipes that freeze most frequently are pipes exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines; water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets; and pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.
Before the onset of cold weather, folks can protect their pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:
* Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer’s or installer’s directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed.
* Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
* Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
* Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
* Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a “pipe sleeve” or installing UL-listed “heat tape,” “heat cable,” or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even a quarter-inch of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
To prevent frozen pipes, keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage; pen kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing; when the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing; keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night; and if leaving during cold weather, leave the heat on in the home set to a temperature no lower than 55 degrees.
If a faucet is turned on and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. To thaw a frozen pipe, keep the faucet open as running water through the pipe will help melt ice. Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber. Check all other faucets in the home to find out if there are additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.