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Preventing Frozen Pipes

ID番号 N31347 更新日 平成26年12月22日

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Old water pipes can cause a lot of issues if you do not drain the water (水抜き, mizunuki) when temperatures go below freezing. There are various methods to do this, and they are all dependent on the types of pipes and appliances you have. You may have to do different things to drain the water from the shower heater than from the sink. Most of the time the instructions are written close by, but they will be in Japanese. Ask a neighbor or a friend for assistance. Your building manager may also be able to teach you.

 

Learn how to drain your pipes before winter hits. You may not ever have to drain them, or you may have to drain them every day. If the pipes freeze or burst, you could be liable for the damages.

 

Draining water pipes

There is usually one main valve that controls all of the water in a house or apartment. It may look like this, and be located outside:

 

valve

Drain the water

1.        Turn the water on in your faucet, and leave it on.

2.       Turn off the main valve while the water is running in the faucet. This will force the remaining water out from the sink faucet. Keep the faucet set to on.

 

Turn the water back on

1.        Just reopen the main valve, and water should come out of your faucet.

 

*This is just for main pipes. You may have to empty the water out of water heaters as well. These will have the instructions written on them; please have someone translate them for you. Alternatively, when you get the gas turned on in your home when you first move in, the serviceman will teach you how to empty the water out of these appliances.

water heater

Example

This is a water heater for the kitchen sink, and the instructions are listed on the unit for draining the water from the system. In this case, it’s written as 凍結予防(toketsu yobo) which means “prevent freezing pipes.” This is just an example; your unit may have completely different directions, so it’s best to get someone to translate them for you or show you how to do it.

 

Unfreeze pipes

You can try thawing the pipes out by pouring a continuous stream of hot (not boiling) water or wrapping pipes with warm compresses.

However, it is best to call an expert. If you live in an apartment or rental house, contact your landlord. If you live in a condominium unit, contact the company that manages the building. Finally, if you own your home, you can contact one of the plumbers designated by your municipality (call your municipal office or access their webpage for details).

 

 

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