CINCINNATI — As the coldest weather of the new year makes its way to the Cincinnati area, plumbers and AAA expect to get dozens of calls about frozen pipes and cars that won't start.
Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to avoid a big repair bill.
Protect your pipes
Rick Robinson of HELP Heating and Plumbing says the biggest issue they see every winter are frozen water pipes, which then burst when the water thaws.
So he says check for any water pipes that may be prone to freezing, such as those leading to a bathroom or kitchen sink against an outside window.
Sink near an outdoor wall? He suggests:
- Leave cabinet doors open, to let heat in underneath the sink.
- Leave a small stream of water running overnight.
- Stuff towels into any crack letting cold in, such as under kitchen cabinets or from the back door.
Better to pay an extra dollar on your water bill this month than have to pay $300 for a plumbing repair.
In addition, it is a good idea to shut off the water to outdoor hoses (from the shutoff inside the house), and disconnect the hose.
Protect your car
Once you feel comfortable about your pipes and the water in your house, it’s then time to look at your car.
AAA/Sumerel Tire & Service in Newport says the biggest issue they see are not dead batteries, but low tire pressure, which then causes driving problems.
So you may want to:
- Check your tire pressure, and add air if it is already getting low.
- Check the antifreeze level in the radiator – if it’s too low, you won't get enough heat.
- Don’t go out on a cold night without jumper cables and something to stay warm, in case the battery dies.
- If your battery is more than 4 years old, it might be worth having a shop check the voltage. Four and 5 year old batteries typically die on the first bitter cold morning of the winter
That way your car starts fine, and you don't waste your money.
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