Expert Offers Tips To Avoid Frozen Pipes In Extremely Low Temperatures

Pipe bursts could cost homeowners up to thousands of dollars in damage

ROCKFORD - Freezing temperatures are a water pipes' worst enemy. If the proper steps aren't taken ahead of time, those pipes could burst, costing homeowners up to thousands of dollars in damage.

"Depending on the weather conditions," said Plumbers And Pipefitters Local 23 training director Greg Harle. "[Depending] where the problem occurred can determine how much it's gonna cost and how long it's going to take to get repaired."

 Harle has been the training director at Plumbers And Pipefitters Local 23 for seven years. He suggests if you leave home, leave the thermostat alone.

"If anything, the lowest you should turn it down to is 55 [degrees]," said Harle. "But, even that is for vacation mode. But, when you're going to have weather like this you want to try to keep it as high as possible because the furnace can't keep up."

Harle also suggests temporarily keeping a drip of water at an inside faucet. This way, water keeps moving, making it less likely to freeze. Your water bill might go up slightly, but, could be worth the money.

"You can leave the water if you have a laundry sink or something, you can leave the water at a slow drip to make it so there's water flowing through there. So, rather than have the whole system shut down."

And although winter officially just started a few days ago, Harle adds contractors are already booking up daily with calls.

"They're working from the time the sun comes up until the time it goes down and then additional on top of that."

If anyone finds themselves with any pipe issues this winter, Harle says www.ualocal23.org/  has a list of area contractors.

 


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