Plumbers Warn To Take Precautions Against Freezing Pipes

By Jill Kasparie, Reporter

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By Jill Kasparie

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - With the drastic weather change, many are on standby to repair heaters and pipes.

Plumbers said it doesn't take long for this cold to create quite a mess. Many have already fielded a lot of calls early on this season, especially as Mother Nature brought on the cold a bit earlier than normal. They are anticipating even more as the temperatures remain chilly.

Saturday, the high was 42 degrees. Sunday, the low was about -4 degrees, but it felt about -20 degrees outside.

So, most people came to the same conclusion about Sunday’s weather: It's cold.

"It dropped like, what, 60 degrees almost, like feeling-wise,” Larry Smithwick said.

With a degree drop like that, however, there are some serious concerns.

"It can cause a lot of damage,” Benjamin Franklin Plumbing’s William Derby said.

Plumbers are on standby as the temperatures keep dropping. Trucks are lined up and ready to go.

"More heat equipment, more man power,” Derby said.

“This is copper, and copper just splits, it will just get like a one inch line,” said Owner of JP Plumbing & Heating Jed Pasterski.

Some, like Pasterski, are already responding to a few calls for frozen pipes.

"A pipe broke and froze and leaked water into the house, it was about a foot of water that some people came home to,” Pasterski said.

He added that one of the biggest issues comes when people travel away from home during the holidays.

"For some reason the furnace won't start then all of the sudden you got plummeting temperatures. It doesn't take long for it to get cold in the house, then the pipes break,” Pasterski said.

Plumbers suggest having someone check the house every day during your trip to make sure the furnace is working. Some also have a recommendation for people who have had issues with pipes in their house or mobile home.

"If you are expecting a cold night, leave the water running – just a little trickle or something like that. But just make sure the water is moving,” Derby said.

Plumbers also suggested not turning your furnace lower than about 55 or 60 degrees in your home. Another prevention tip: water pipes can freeze if you have some type of holes or gaps in the side of your house. Plumbers said people should seal those, so the wind cannot blow through and cause freezing pipe problems.

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