Winter 101: preventative tips on preventing busted pipes

JACKSON, Mo. (KBSI) – With colder temperatures come the potential risk for frozen pipes.

Pipes in your home that run along the foundation or the exterior of your home are the ones that are in danger of freezing.

“You’re looking at a flooded basement or flooded crawl space, depending on where the water lines are coming in,” said Randy Earnest, with Obermanns Plumbing, Heating and Cooling. “Then, you’re looking at thousands of dollars to fix, and you’re calling someone in to repair it.”

When the water freezes, it can expand. Inside the pipes, the material can crack.

When a pipe bursts, the water flows out through an opening in your home where it can cause water damage to any material it encounters, most notably hardwood floors, carpeting and carpet pads.

“Well, for the most part, the outside hose bib is where you’re going to be replacing that,” said Earnest. “So, for our end of it, you’re only probably looking at two-, three-hundred dollars or something like that. But it’s the other part that’s going [to] cost you.”

Common locations for pipes to become easily frozen over are under the kitchen and bathroom sinks, the attic, garage, kitchen, crawl spaces, and hoses that connect to the pool or sprinkler systems.

“Everything’s getting cold,” Earnest said. “You want to try and check your gas lines, anything like that’s leaking cracks … electric furnaces, check your wiring, call us. Let us know if you’re having any issues with it.”

Along with checking furnaces and wiring, you’ll want to keep track of how your carbon monoxide detectors are functioning to watch for carbon monoxide poisoning.

Tips for preventative maintenance:

  • A slow drip from the faucet sinks is a good place to start.
  • Wrapping pipes in the crawl space will keep them insulated, therefore, more difficult to burst.
  • Open cabinet doors in kitchen and bathrooms.
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