Get cozy: wrap your love around your pipes this weekend

Get cozy: wrap your love around your pipes this weekend

Good day to all my fellow Eskimos out there trying to keep warm in an area which at this time of year makes me think it was never meant for human habitation. Yes, IT IS COLD INDEED. Let’s talk a minute about what those of us who have made the brave (but…well…possibly foolhardy) choice to live in this wretched winterscape can do to beat back the elements.

But first, let me say that I’ve really missed the ChicagoNow blogging community (readers, commenters and fellow bloggers). I’ve been away for a while tied up with the responsibilities of managing my properties (showing vacant units, screening applicants, residents moving in, residents moving out, prepping buildings for winter, routine maintenance and repairs, etc.). In my property ownership/management universe, blogging is like my dessert. But let’s just say in these last few months I’ve been eating a lot of Brussels sprouts. Nothing really bad has happened but I’ve been doing what it takes to keep my business strong. We all know what they say about excuses and opinions, but I’m hoping you’ll pardon my absence.

icicle forms in a bathtub

A trickle of water without adequate warmth only causes a buildup of ice

So, for the past few winters we didn’t need to worry too much about our water pipes until bone-chilling temps hit our area in January (check out my post Frozen Pipes: A Chicago Treat!). But trust me folks–these frigid December temps have put us squarely in the middle of frozen pipe season. ALREADY. I’ve been hearing rumblings of issues with low water pressure and slow draining sinks (both sure signs of a buildup of ice inside your pipes). And ensuring constant water flow by allowing your faucets to trickle is NOT ENOUGH to prevent freezing once temps drop to levels we’re experiencing now. See the pic I took in one of my units two days ago. In this case the trickle of water in a cold environment only created an inverted icicle. You need to have water flow PLUS warmth when temps get extremely cold.

It’s not too early to start taking precautions. I found another great article on preventing an indoor monsoon in your home this winter. Check out MassLive’s “Frozen pipe? How to identify a frozen pipe, find it and thaw it safely.”

Be advised that some of the “fixes” people attempt to use to thaw pipes can create even more dangerous situations than the original issue. If you think you might be facing this problem, please don’t just rely on intuition to solve it. Read what the experts say you can SAFELY do to get your water flowing again.

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