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Here are tips on preventing frozen pipes before coming cold snap

Extreme cold snap is expected to hit the region Thursday

An extreme cold snap is expected hit Sault Ste Marie and surrounding area on Thursday night, and last through to Saturday morning.

Morning temperatures Friday and Saturday could be as low as -10F  to -20F, with high temperatures on Friday around 5F and around 15F on Saturday.

With these bitter cold conditions moving in, there is a risk of water pipes freezing in homes and businesses.

Steve Shearer, owner of Shearer’s Plumbing and Electric, says you still have time to prepare for the frigid temperatures and protect your pipes.

“The more common way to keep pipes from freezing is to keep a small, steady stream (about the thickness of a pencil lead) of cold water from the faucets that are on outside walls,” Shearer said.

He also added that keeping cabinet doors open under sinks can help keep pipes warmer.

“The one thing, too, is make sure you do not have cracks near water pipes that allow the cold, outside air to increase the chance for them freezing,” he added.

Mobile homes are more susceptible to having pipes freeze because many pipes are exposed to the cold air beneath the floor. Wrapping pipes in inexpensive heat tape or pipe foam from your local hardware store reduces the chance of them freezing.

Ryan McDowell, Parker’s Ace Hardware associate, said, “Many times people come in and purchase the pipe foam or other items after their pipes have frozen. It’s always better to be preventive than reactive concerning frozen pipes.”

Shearer also says that if your pipes do freeze, there are ways to thaw them. He uses a method that involves clamping copper or metal pipes – one clamp is secured where the pipe is frozen and the other where the pipe still has water in it. He sends a small electrical current that warms the pipe up.

Other methods include using a hair dryer or portable heater. Caution is advised, especially with a portable heater – never leave one unattended.