Tips to avoid frozen pipes as temperatures drop

BOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) - The snow has moved through the region, but cold temperatures will continue, which could end up costing thousands of dollars worth of damage to your house.

As temperatures drop into to the teens Friday night, water pipes are in danger of freezing.

“The number one thing we see that freezes water lines is openings in the crawl spaces or openings in the foundation of houses,” said Robert Smith, master plumber with Smith and Sons Plumbing in Ashland.

Smith says right now is the calm before the storm, as the pipes typically burst after temperatures rise and a thaw begins.

“We’ll get a lot of calls about busted water lines, flooded basements and crawl spaces,” he said.

Smith encourages people to walk around their houses, making sure crawl spaces are closed off, to keep air from coming in. He also says to make sure any outdoor hoses, valves and facets are shut off.

“We see that a lot, where people think they have a frost free hose bib so they think it will never freeze, and when that hose is left on the water can’t drain out so it freezes and busts and they don’t realize that until spring,” Smith said.

Tips to avoid frozen pipes as temperatures drop

A simple way to prevent the freeze is opening cabinet doors to allow heat to get to pipes under sinks or exterior walls.

“When that door shuts, you have shut it off 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 water slowly dripping from your sink, as moving water is harder to freeze.

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

Pex tubing is something Smith says he’s been installing in houses for more than a decade.

“What it will do is, it will freeze and swell up and then it will fall back down. It will stretch like that several times before it busts,” he said. “This is the future. This is what is saving a lot of people money. They’re not having to worry about their water lines bursting. That’s why we’re putting them in houses more and more often.”

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

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