Frigid cold posing problems for pipes - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Frigid cold posing problems for pipes

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

The freezing temperatures are causing some troubles for homeowners, particularly frozen pipes. 

To give you an idea of just how busy things are for plumbers in our area, we called over 15 plumbers on Tuesday who said they were so busy, they didn't even have time for an interview. 

One told us it was the busiest week they've dealt with in their 30 years in the trade. 

While busy, they did give us some insight on ways to prevent your pipes from freezing and what to do once the water stops flowing. 

With temperatures cold enough to stop water at a Chicopee dam in its tracks, imagine what it's doing to the water inside the pipes of your home.
 
"Today and last week, we have been busy because of the frigid cold," said Mitchell Johnson with Rocky's Ace Hardware.
 
At Rocky's Ace Hardware, there's a lot of empty space in the space heater department:
 
"We have been selling off the shelf with our heaters.  Sometimes put them in a specific room, bathroom or kitchen, keeps them from freezing," Johnson noted.
 
As many rush before the next big cold snap to winter proof their pipe, the best solution - according to Johnson - is insulation.
 
"Wrap the insulation on the pipe.  Different size pipes - half-inch, three-quarter inch - you wrap it around, goes all the way too," Johnson added.
 
The insulation is much less expensive than dealing with burst pipe:
 
"Insulating is dollars. We have 10 foot insulation, half-inch, for under $10 dollars.  Ten feet goes a long way," Johnson said.
 
Other ways to prevent things from freezing up, according to RotoRooter, is to:

  • Open your faucet to a drip - plumbers specifically recommend leaving the hot water tap open as those pipes tend to freeze first
  • Open cabinets to keep your pipes exposed to warm air
  • Keep your house at the magic temp of 55 degrees, even in the overnight hours

 If that doesn't do the trick and your pipes freeze, RotoRooter recommends:

  • Shutting off the water main that leads into your house
  • Open the faucets if you haven't
  • Use a hairdryer and not an open flame to thaw the pipes
  • Use this time to check for any leaks

Again, you only really need to leave one faucet dripping, but choose the right location.  If you know where the water comes into your house, turn on a faucet at the other end of your home to allow the water to flow throughout the entire system. 

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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