Madison Water Utility offers helpful tips to keep your pipes from freezing

When temperatures drop to single digits, there's a risk of pipes freezing.

To protect internal pipes, the city recommends people weatherproof their basements or crawl spaces to block out the coldest air. Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing - and bursting. Keeping the outside valve open allows remaining water in the pipe to expand without building up pressure.

Experts said throughout the winter people should always have cases of water in case of an emergency.

Owners of single-family homes are responsible for all internal plumbing, which consists of pipes that enter the building all the way to the taps.

Keep thermostat at 55 degrees if you leave your home for several days and leave cabinets that contain sink plumbing near outside walls open.

Plumber offers advice on protecting your pipes in winter
Prevent frozen pipes during cold temperatures

Tryjankowski says to locate where the water comes into the house which is usually next to the water meter. Seal leaks with caulking or insulation to keep cold air away.

"Being in Alabama cold weather doesn't last too long, so if you can just write it for a little while courageous it for a little while and park out in the driveway instead of the garage and keep your garage door close you're going to save yourself", Schrock said. The cost of extra water is low compared to cost of repairing a broken pipe.

Freezing can often cause unseen cracks in pipes or joints.

Heat should be applied to the frozen section of pipe once it is identified by using an electric heating pad, a hair dryer, a portable space heater or by wrapping the pipe with towels soaked in hot water.

As you make travel plans for New Year's, Mihalko suggests leaving your home prepared for the cold.

  • Kyle Peterson