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Saving Your Plumbing and Pipes From the Polar Vortex

Mr. Rooter(R) Gives 10 Tips to Prevent Burst Pipes in Freezing Weather

WACO, TX--(Marketwired - January 21, 2014) - Mr. Rooter® Plumbing reminds home owners to winterize their home today to protect their homes, pipes and pocket books from the freezing temperatures in store for tonight.

"Frozen pipes can be a costly problem if proper precautions are not taken," states Mary Kennedy Thompson, president of Mr. Rooter Plumbing. "Often times, homeowners find themselves unprepared when winter weather hits, leading to burst pipes and expensive repairs."

Mr. Rooter suggests these precautionary tips to help prevent dealing with expensive damages down the road.

Here are 10 simple tips that will help homeowners keep their pipes from bursting when temperatures plummet:

1. Insulate your pipes: Cover faucets and exposed pipes with insulation or wrap thick towels around them.

2. Secure basement doors, windows and crawl space openings: Caulk, seal and weather-strip.

3. Drain outside waterlines: Remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets, close interior valves that lead to outside hose taps and open hose taps to drain.

4. Apply electrically-powered tape to pipes: follow manufacturer's instructions or call your local Mr. Rooter to do this.

5. Wrap your water heater with an approved manufacturer's blanket.

6. Open cabinet doors. This allows heat to circulate and keeps interior pipes warm.

7. Keep faucets running. A small trickle of water or a constant drip is recommended when temperatures drop below freezing for more than 24-hours.

8. Don't set thermostat lower than 55 degrees when traveling. Ask a neighbor to check on your house during below freezing temperatures.

9. Locate the main water shut-off valve and learn how to use it in the case of frozen pipes or burst pipes.

10. Have a hair dryer handy, in case your pipes do freeze. Heat the exterior of the pipe with the hair dryer by slowly applying the heat and moving the dryer constantly.

The first step to safely thawing frozen pipes is turning off water at the main water shut-off valve. Next, open the nearest faucet to allow water to drain as the ice melts. Finally, use the hair dryer to heat the pipes or wrap a hot, wet rag around them. Do not attempt to thaw exposed frozen pipes with an open flame, such as an acetylene torch.

If you're not a do-it-yourselfer or your pipes do burst, be sure to call a qualified plumber.

"We'll be available 24/7 to help those having a plumbing emergency," Thompson said. "This can be a stressful time for homeowners, and we understand the urgency they feel."

About Mr. Rooter®:

Established in 1970, Mr. Rooter is an all-franchised, full-service plumbing and drain cleaning company with approximately 300 franchises worldwide. Recognized by Entrepreneur magazine among its "Franchise 500" and Franchise Times Top 200, Mr. Rooter franchisees provide services to both residential and commercial customers. Mr. Rooter began franchising in 1974 and is a subsidiary of The Dwyer Group, Inc. For more information or to find the location nearest you, please visit our Web site at MrRooter.com.

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