Janesville62.4°

Is frigid weather changing what you do?

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Greg Peck
January 22, 2013

The first thing I did Monday after pulling my vehicle out of the garage and before parking it outside at work was to fill up the gas tank. I had half a tank of gas, but I was taking no chances with a gas line freeze-up in this frigid air.

I recall that almost 20 years ago, I was living in an apartment on the hill of East Holmes Street. I had a new Plymouth, but it didn’t have much gas in the tank. A cold snap hit, and the car wouldn’t start. It sat for most of a week—I could walk the few blocks to work—until the weather warmed.

I wanted no part of a repeat problem during this current bout with Arctic air.

We're spending more time staying home these days. Still, while the weather isn’t halting our predawn daily walks, the pup and I are bundling up more. I’m wearing snow pants that I bought for cross-country skiing. While I could stand the cold walks without this extra apparel, the snow pants help reduce dry skin. Some winters I can wind up itching like crazy.

The pup, Molly, has lots of hair and has never been clipped. Still, we’ve resorted to strapping on her little quilted coat for walks.

I also heard on the Channel 27 news this morning about advice for keeping your home’s pipes from freezing. On cold days like this, leave cupboard doors open under your sinks to let warm air circulate.

I’ve never feared pipes freezing in our home. With a boiler furnace, our basement stays warm.

Still, that TV news report advised homeowners to at least determine where their water shutoff valve is in case pipes do burst. A plumber said too many people call in a panic when water is gushing from cracked pipes and the homeowners have no clue about where to locate the shutoff valve. Worse, the valve often is used so infrequently in some homes that shutting it off might be hard.

I know where ours is. In fact, that aging valve had developed a slow leak in our basement. We finally had a plumber install a new one last year.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook



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