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Prevention

The following are tips for preventing water pipes from freezing

Keep utility rooms in basements and crawl spaces where water pipes are located well-insulated. A broken basement window or crack in the foundation can let in enough cold air to freeze water pipes.

Open the cabinets beneath sinks to let room-temperature air circulate in areas with water pipes.

If temperatures dip below zero for several consecutive days, consider letting a faucet drip.

Disconnect garden hoses.

Wrap pipes with insulating sleeves or tape.

Thawing out

If water pipes do freeze, the following are proper ways for thawing them out

Hit pipes with warm blasts of air from a hair dryer. Be sure to only use the dryer's lowest setting.

Position a box fan in front of water pipes.

Never use an open flame.

SOURCE: Bloomington Water Department and State Farm Insurance Cos.

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