Officials in Oswego are among our area communities reminding residents to check on pipes to keep them from freezing this winter season.
When temperatures drop, frozen pipes can burst and cause serious flooding and structural damage, mold issues and more inside a home.
A 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can leak up to 250 gallons of water a day into your house or business, and frozen pipes are common, affecting a quarter-million homes each winter.
Officials in the village of Oswego this winter have some tips for keeping your pipes from freezing when the temperatures plummet:
-Let warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall.
-Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night. You might be in the habit of turning down the heat when you're asleep, but further drops in the temperature—more common overnight—could catch you off guard and freeze your pipes.
-Make sure to open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.
If your pipes do freeze:
-You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe using a hair dryer. Leave your faucet turned on and start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, working toward the coldest section of pipe.
-If that does not start water flowing again, leave the faucet turned on and call a plumber.
-Never try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame, because it can cause a fire hazard. In Aurora, two fires have started since Friday after residents tried to thaw pipes with a propane heater.
The Village of Oswego is responsible for frozen water pipes in the Village's right of way, but not frozen pipes located in the home.
For more information on frozen pipes, you can contact the village's Public Works department.