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Locate and know where your main water stop valve is for the whole house. This is a good idea even under normal circumstances, even if you are going away for the weekend.  When the weather is cold and your home is going to be unoccupied, it is best to turn off your water at the main stop valve for the whole house. Open all the faucets until the water stops, then turn them back off again. Burst pipes occur when the pipe freezes and ruptures, the leak happens when it thaws out.  If you are in your home and your pipes freeze up, the first thing to do is locate and turn off your main stop valve for the whole house. If you know where it is frozen up, use a hair dryer and definitely not a hot air gun or naked flame to unthaw the pipe.  Finally, make sure all your pipes are fully insulated in external walls, crawlspaces, and attics, to make pipe freezing less likely. Be proactive to protect your home.

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