Terry Lewis knows that this winter pipes across Lawrence are in danger.
Even when the temperature drops to 30 degrees, pipes can freeze, said the service manager for Kastl Plumbing in Lawrence.
“But when it drops down to 20 degrees and it sustains that for two to three days, they’re really going to start popping,” he said.
He and the city of Lawrence offered a few tips and reminders to protect against an expensive repair this season.
• Leave cabinet doors under the sink open, so that heat from the house can reach the pipes.
• If it gets really cold, leaving a small stream of water running from faucets can prevent freezing — but Lewis said that hot water can freeze faster than cold water (yes, you can look it up), so it’s important to leave hot water on, too, in addition to cold water.
• Disconnect outdoor hoses to allow water to drain.
• Insulate exposed pipes in unheated areas, such as crawl spaces.
• During extended absences away from home, leave the heat on to avoid broken pipes.
• Seal off cracks and repair broken windows, but be careful to avoid plugging heater vents.
• Identify the master shut-off valve so that it can be easily found if a pipe bursts to minimize water damage.
• When installing new pipes, consider plastic pipes, which are typically cheaper, and can expand up to 10 times their normal size before bursting, Lewis said.