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Living in Northern Virginia, many of us know the damage that dangerously low winter temperatures can have on our plumbing pipes. Imagine waking up in the morning or returning home from a long day at work to find no water coming from the tap. Or, even worse, coming home to water gushing everywhere from a burst and broken plumbing pipe!

Well, before that disaster can happen to you we want to offer a few preventive tips that can help you avoid a plumbing emergency in your Northern Virginia home:

  1. Know where the main water cutoff valve to your home is located. In the event you have a burst pipe, you will want to get the water turned off as quickly as possible
  2. Outside faucet water lines — make sure they are turned off and the lines are drained before the first freeze. If it’s forgotten and done later, remember when these outside spigots have been damaged by the freeze it may not be discovered until months later when you go to use the spigot in the spring.
  3. Eliminate drafts — check the area around your home near water supply lines and insulate water pipes. Consider wrapping them with UL approved heat tape with a built in thermostat to prevent overheating.
  4. Location of sinks–for sinks that are located on an exterior wall, open the cabinets to allow warm air inside.

According to the Fairfax County website, if water is not running through the pipe and the water temperature becomes cold, even hot water supply lines can freeze.

Hopefully, you have taken measures to prevent a plumbing emergency during the winter months. If you do have a frozen pipe, burst pipe, frozen sewer drain, or water line, please feel free to contact a licensed plumber like M.E. Flow. M.E. Flow has an office located in Alexandria, Va that services all of Fairfax County. M.E. Flow specializes in air flow and water flow! If you’re not sure where your main water cutoff value is located, give us a call and request a whole home plumbing inspection for a thorough inspection of your plumbing system–it may just save you from a pluming emergency!!