Pipes freeze across Kentuckiana

Water shut-off
Water shut-off

By Elizabeth Donatelli - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The cold weather can mean big business for plumbers. Plumbers all across Kentuckiana tell WAVE 3 they're starting to get calls about leaks and frozen pipes and it's only going to get worse as the temperatures plummet.

The number one thing is to know where the main water line is into the house so that you can turn it off as soon as you get a leak. It comes in through the wall and is often in the basement. You can also turn it off when you're out of town in case a pipe bursts.

"If you turn your water off at your main shutoff valve, when you're gone then it won't cause all that damage," said Tom Drexler of Tom Drexler Plumbing.

Another common mistake is leaving the hose attached to the outside water spicket, which can cause even thick copper pipes to burst.

"People will turn them off for the winter time, but they don't disconnect their hose, so this pipe stays full of water here and it can't drain itself out," explained Drexler. "Then when this freezes in here {the pipe} and the water swells then it bursts the faucet."

Drexler said homeowners can let their faucets drip the keep down the pressure in the pipes as well, but do both sides because hot water tends to freeze faster than cold. It can be a good idea to leave the cabinet doors open to let in heat, if there are pipes on the walls. Still some people get even more creative.

"I've seen people put trouble lights and light bulbs underneath you know crawl spaces and areas and underneath their sink where they've had trouble before because just even that little bit of heat from the light bulb might be enough to offset the freezing temperatures to keep it from freezing," said Drexler.

Plumbers have told WAVE 3 pipes can freeze anytime when the temperature is below 32 degrees, but there aren't too many unless temperatures get into the teens for several days in a row.

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