Plumbers Explain How To Protect Your Pipes

Single digit temperatures can cause pipes to freeze and burst

Vineyard - VINEYARD (ABC4 Utah News) - The frigid weather can take a toll on your plumbing if you don't take precautions.

With temperatures hitting single digits throughout northern Utah tonight, the guys at Any Hour Electric, Plumbing Heating and Air are going to get a lot of calls tomorrow most likely because of frozen pipes. It happened to a pipe located near an exterior wall in the basement of a home in Vineyard. The homeowner could have prevented it with an inexpensive piece of foam insulation, according to Any Hour's Mike Wilson.

"If you have exposed pipes and you can get that insulation that you can wrap around it, you want to do that," Wilson said. "Open the doors underneath the kitchen sinks, turn on the hot water."

Letting the hot water trickle throughout the night reduces the chance of freezing. Opening cabinet doors allows warm air to circulate around pipes under kitchen and bathroom sinks.

"If you have a home that's vacant or you're not going to be there, you want to make sure your thermostat is set higher than 55 degrees," Wilson said.

If you turn off the heat and leave for a few days, you could return to a flooded basement. Plumber Jesse Wheeler has seen it numerous times.

"If you are gone, you'll come home to 2 or 3 feet of water.," Wheeler said. "There's nobody there to shut the water off, you have to manually off, so if you get a bursted pipe it's just going to keep on comin'."

Wheeler says any homeowner or renter should be familiar with one key thing.

"You want to know where the main water shutoff is," Wheeler said. "So if you do walk into a basement to something like that where you can see the water coming, you want to be able to go to the source and shut the entire home off for a few minutes until you can isolate the situation."

 Another reminder: check the air filter on your furnace. Wilson and Wheeler say furnaces work extra hard on cold nights and a dirty air filter can cause it to shut down.

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