STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – Taking steps right now can prevent your pipes from freezing during the cold snap.

Aqua Ohio is advising customers in Struthers to prepare now, but it’s advice everyone can heed.

The utility suggests the following:

— Have heat tape and pipe insulation on hand, as well as a portable space heater and a hair dryer.

— Locate and mark the home’s master water valve. If a pipe does break, use this valve to turn off the water to the home.

— Make sure the lids on outdoor meter pits are not broken or missing.

— Shut off and drain any outside faucets including those used for irrigation.

— Prevent drafts in unheated areas, such as crawl spaces or basements, by replacing broken glass or making other repairs.

— Wrap pipes with insulation and heat tape in unheated areas.

— For interior plumbing on an outside wall, wrap with heat tape to supply lines or open cabinet doors beneath the sink to allow warm air in. Be mindful of children who may discover chemicals in those cabinets.

— If temperatures get below 10 degrees, you might want to leave a pencil-sized stream of water running continuously from at least one tap, preferably one furthest from the meter.

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If a pipe does freeze, you can locate the frozen area, open a nearby spigot and use a hand-held hair dryer or heat tape to thaw it. If that doesn’t work, call a plumber.