Monday, Mar 10, 2014
Preventing Your Pipes From Freezing
MARION -- The bitterly cold temperatures can cause a number of problems for homeowners, but there's still time to prepare your home before the mercury drops.
A few extra dollars on your water bill now could save you hundreds of dollars in repairs later.
"The biggest thing we find is just, nobody prepared at all," said Rusty Baker with Baker and Sons Plumbing in Marion.
Baker says his trucks are packed and ready for the upcoming storm. "We typically, when it happens like that, get 2-300 calls a day."
But there are some steps you can take to protect your pipes from freezing and causing major damage.
"Keeping your crawl hole windows closed, vent windows, if they've been tore open or something, or missing, getting those covered up, and then removing garden hoses from the faucets on the outside of the house, that's a major problem," explained Baker.
In aisle 11 at Ace Hardware in Marion, you can find piping insulation, heaters, and faucet covers like these.
"When you get down below zero, just putting pipe insulation or a towel wrapped around it," said Baker. "I mean, it's just like the jacket you're wearing, eventually the cold air gets through it."
Baker says putting something around the pipes will help, but the easiest thing you can do, especially on any exterior walls, is leave your water running. You can also open any cabinet doors under the sink to draw heat to the pipes.
"Once the pipes have froze, it's not going to go away. All it's going to do is get worse," Baker insisted. "The longer you let it go, the more breaks you're going to have in the line," he said.
Baker adds, if you lose water call a plumber immediately. You could be without water for days waiting for somebody to defrost and fix your pipes.
If you leave town Baker says don't turn your thermostat below 55 degrees. He says you can shut your water off, but it may not prevent your pipes from freezing if there's still water inside the lines.
Wind: 12 MPH
Humidity: 48 %