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TAKING ACTION: Protect your pipes from freezing and bursting

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. --It was short-lived, but the chance of snow has passed for the Tennessee Valley right now. However, the freezing temperatures are going to stick around for a few more days, and we still have a couple of winter months ahead of us. With that in mind, WHNT News 19 is taking action to bring you some helpful ways to protect your pipes.

One of the biggest concerns during freezing temperatures is protecting the pipes in your home. Problems arise when water expands as it freezes, and that expansion puts pressure on your pipes. It doesn't matter whether they are metal or plastic, when that happens they are still at risk of bursting.

Exposed pipes and pipes that run through your cabinets or are up against exterior walls are usually the ones that freeze most frequently. If you have exposed water pipes you can use a pipe sleeve (sold at home repair stores) or heat tape to keep them insulated.

If there are water supply lines in your garage, it's a good idea to keep garage doors shut. But in contrast, leave your kitchen and bathroom doors open so warm air can circulate around the plumbing in those areas.

Also, when it's cold outside one of the best things you can do is let your faucets drip. Even just running a trickle of water through the pipes can help prevent them from freezing.

And one more preventative measure is to keep your thermostat at the same temperature during the day and the night, instead of lowering it at bed time.

If you turn on your faucets but nothing comes out, you might have a frozen pipe. If that does happen, it's best to leave the faucets turned on and call a plumber. In addition to that, if your pipes have burst the first thing to do is turn off the house's main water valve, but leave the faucets turned on, then call a plumber.