Frigid temps hit home, pipes and water heaters targeted

Frigid temps hit home, pipes and water heaters targeted
(Flikr/Scott Ackerman)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - As bitter-cold temperatures hit the area, it's important to know how to protect your home.

A Colerain Township family said their hot water kept running cold. They immediately called a licensed plumber, who quickly found the problem - a leak in the water heater.

"You're getting electric along with water right here which is a very dangerous situation because the water can cause the electric to fault... or possibly up to sparking," Jake Swafford with Help Plumbing said.

Swafford said the first sign of a problem is of course is when the water that doesn't get hot, but he said there is a visible sign as well.

"If you notice this bubbling on the water tank, on the exterior of the water heater," he said.

One of the biggest potential problems for homes in frigid temperatures is frozen pipes.

The American Red Cross said vulnerable spots include basements, garages, attics, kitchen cabinets. Experts say you should open cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate. Let the water drip or trickle to prevent freezing. Keep water on or running when thawing the pipes by using an electrical hair dryer or portable heater.

?A little known fact is simple newspaper can be used to provide at least some insulation.

The Colerain Township's family 8-year-old water heater ran it's course, and once the new one is installed, experts say it's a good idea to make sure your mains are tagged and everyone knows where they are

"What we're going to do is we're going to put this tag around here so that way, in case my client needs to shut it off or if she has children at home she could always tell them by phone, if something happens, look for that red tag, turn that valve. And it's all good to go," Swafford said.

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