With temperatures falling so low, many residents could face the danger of freezing water pipes alongside poor road conditions and power outages.
Here are some tips from Decatur Utilities on how to protect your home's pipes:
• Make sure exterior faucets are protected with a foam, insulating cover;
• Disconnect outside water hoses;
• Make sure foundation vents and crawl space access doors are closed to keep frigid air from infiltrating the crawl space;
• If you have inside faucets on exterior walls, open cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate to them;
• Leave water dripping slightly from interior faucets to keep water moving through pipes; and
• Know where your main water line cutoff valve is located.
If your pipes freeze
Decatur Utilities offers the following advice if your pipes do freeze during the winter weather:
• Cut the main valve off to the house. If you're a Decatur Utilities customer, make sure to call 256-552-1400 so they can come out and cut off the DU's valve to the water meter (it's separate from your house valve, and they ask that you please not turn their valve off on your own);
• Contacting a licensed plumber to assist with thawing pipes is recommended, but if you want to attempt it yourself, keep faucets open; apply heat using a hair dryer or hot towels but NOT an open flame; and repeat with other frozen faucets;
• If you hear running water inside a wall or see evidence of a leak, turn off the main valve to your house immediately and call a plumber.