Preventing "polar" pipe problems - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Preventing "polar" pipe problems

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BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -

This Tuesday morning, our official low temperature was 0° in Toledo, and an increasing number of homeowners are dealing with some of these polar plumbing problems, with frozen pipes.

Ken Robinson, the Regional Chief Operating Officer with the American Red Cross offers some good advice that will keep the pipes from freezing, "Keeping cabinet doors open, by keeping water running just a little bit, by not turning down the temperature in your house at night as you might be accustomed to. It might be a little bit hard on the water bill or on the heating bill, but it's going to be a lot more safe and less expensive in the long run."

In the big picture, though, the best thing you can do to prevent freezing in your pipes, make sure those pipes are properly insulated, before it gets cold.

Shaun Downey, the President of Downey Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electrical added, "plumbing in outside walls can be a problem, and more than likely, it has to do with drafty crawlspaces."

Mobile homes are especially susceptible to frozen pipes, due to the cold air's access to the pipes, underneath.

"We've had some mobile home freeze-ups, where crawlspaces present problems if they're not properly closed off," Shaun added.

Beyond insulating these pipes, you can wrap Frost-X heating cables around pipes.

These cables use a small amount of electricity to keep the pipes from freezing, year round.

If you open a faucet and little or no water comes out, your pipes are likely frozen - so you should take action quickly.

Shaun also said, "the longer they're frozen, the more damage we have, typically, when these pipes break. If you can get water shut off to the house, and try drain pressure from the system, that, a lot of time will help."

And rely on the professionals to heat the pipes, or you can have even bigger problems.

"You can have problems with causing a fire in your house, you can undo soldering and joints of the pipes, and your pipes become unusable even when thawed, and that gets expensive in a hurry," the Red Cross added.

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