Air pipes

Tips for avoiding frozen pipes when temperatures drop

BOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) – Snow has moved across the area, but cold temperatures will continue, which could end up costing your home thousands of dollars in damage.

As temperatures drop to teens on Friday night, water pipes are at risk of freezing.

“The main thing we see that freezes water pipes is openings in crawl spaces or openings in foundations of houses,” said Robert Smith, master plumber at Smith and Sons Plumbing in Ashland.

Smith says right now it’s the calm before the storm, as the pipes usually burst after the temperatures rise and the thaw begins.

“We’re going to get a lot of calls about broken water pipes, flooded basements and crawl spaces,” he said.

Smith encourages people to walk around their homes, making sure crawl spaces are closed, to keep air out. It also says to make sure all exterior pipes, valves and facets are closed.

“We see this often, where people think they have a frost free pipe bib, so they think it will never freeze, and when that pipe is left on the water cannot drain so it freezes.” and bursts and they don’t realize that until spring, ”Smith said.

A simple way to prevent freezing is to open cabinet doors to allow heat to reach the pipes under sinks or outside walls.

“When that door closes, you’ve closed it to the rest of the house, so the cold air on that outside wall is going to freeze those water lines,” Smith said.

Smith also suggests keeping slowly dripping water from your sink, as moving water is more difficult to freeze.

“If you have CPVC or copper (pipes), if it stays frozen for days and days, you’re going to take damage,” Smith said.

Pex tubes are something Smith says he’s been installing in homes for over a decade.

“What it will do is it will freeze and swell and then it will fall back. It will stretch like that a few times before it cracks,” he said. “This is the future. C is what saves a lot of people money. They don’t have to worry about their water pipes bursting. That is why we are putting them in homes more and more often. .

Smith also recommends insulating your pipes and sealing any leaks that would allow cold air to enter your home.

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