Cold reality: Frozen pipes can be messy, expensive disaster

During bitter cold weather, resist the urge to warm up your car inside the garage with the doors open.

Posted: Dec 27, 2017 10:45 PM
Updated: Dec 27, 2017 10:57 PM

With it staying bitterly cold into the new year that means water pipes in your home could freeze and burst.

Drip by drip of running water from you faucet may seem like a waste of water and money, but this could actually save you money and a headache down the road.

Preventing frozen pipes

“You know a pond will freeze before river, so moving water doesn’t freeze as fast as still water does, so if you have a drip you always have water moving through your pipes essentially like a river. You turn it off then you essentially have a pond in your pipe,” Scott Plumbing plumber Cody Schrock said.

With just a few simple suggestions you can avoid a minor catastrophe. He recommends opening cabinet doors if you have a sink on an exterior wall, so the heat circulates around the pipes.

Schrock said keeping a meter key handy to shut off your water-main from the street before it’s too late can prevent a major disaster. Experts also suggest you using an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets.

“You’re looking at damage from $100 all the way to $100,000. It just depends on where the water break is in your house. We’ve seen it in big homes where it’s busted on the second floor and flooded the whole second floor down to the first floor,” Schrock said.

During bitter cold weather, he said resist the urge to warm up your car inside the garage with the doors open, especially if you have a waters supply line or hot water heater in it, because they too can freeze.

“Being in Alabama cold weather doesn’t last too long, so if you can just write it for a little while brave it for a little while and park out in the driveway instead of the garage and keep your garage door close you’re going to save yourself,” Schrock said.

He also said it’s not just the cold temperature that causes damage to pipes, but when you have strong wind behind it that’s when pipes are most likely to freeze or burst.

If your water pipes burst, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve in the house; leave the water faucets turned on and seek professional help.

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