Local plumber offers four simple tips to keep pipes from freezin - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Local plumber offers four simple tips to keep pipes from freezing

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Frozen, busted pipes might seem inevitable in this deep freeze, but a few simple steps could save you thousands in repairs.

David Champion was on his third call of the day Wednesday -- and it wasn't even lunchtime yet.

Champions latest stop was to Laura Patterson's mother's home in Prospect. Patterson said she came by to check because her mother was away. "I walked through the doors and there was water shooting out of the light and covering the floor in both rooms," Patterson said.

The problem?

"It's the only pipe up there that is exposed, and it's got a little crack in it -- just a little crack," described Champion.

It's a familiar tale for the staff at Tom Drexler Plumbing Air and Electric. Owner Tom Drexler says his company is averaging 300 calls a day during this deep chill.

"We have way more business than we could ever handle for probably a week," he said. "When the pipes freeze, it just freezes solid like an ice cube. Then the water expands, splitting the pipe."

He's offering four simple tips that homeowners can use right now to try and keep repair professionals away from their homes. First, seal off the vents for the crawlspaces at your house. You can use cardboard, insulation -- anything to keep the wind from whipping through.

Second, open you cabinets, especially if they're near outside walls.

"Allow heat from the house to get in underneath the cabinet and that in and of itself can prevent problems," Drexler said.

Next, leave a small drip running from the faucet.

"Both hot and cold," he said. "Hot water freezes just the same as the cold, so that's a common misconception."

Finally, protect pipes that run in cold, vulnerable spaces like garages, cellars or attics.

"Areas that you know it's really cold," he said. "In a utility room under the house, and if you can safely get some heat in there, you need to try and do that. So if it's a small electric heater or something safe than you can put in."

Be careful and make sure to monitor as space heaters are known to cause fires.

Busted pipes, flooded homes, are a headache for sure -- but these few easy tips today could save you big tomorrow.

To keep your home safe, State Farm recommends the following:

  • Disconnect garden hoses before cold weather comes. A connected hose could cause the short length of pipe that goes into the house to freeze.
  • Insulate pipes in the attic and crawl spaces.
  • When freezing weather hits, allow a slow drip from hot and cold faucets. This will relieve pressure on the system and allow water to circulate.
  • Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to pipes.
  • Set your thermostat no lower than 55 degrees.
  • Consider a leak alarm or automatic water shutoff system.


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