How to help prevent pipes from freezing in extreme cold

January 03, 2018 07:02 PM

ALBANY -- Bass Plumbing and Heating on Central Avenue is a family business that has been around for 30 years. They respond to calls anytime, day or night.

"It doesn't get any busier than it is right now, and it doesn't look like it's going to get any better for at least the next week," said Steve Bass.

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Bass says you should always know where your main shut-off is in your home, because you will want to turn off the water if you find pipes that are frozen or broken.

One thing you can do to help prevent pipes from freezing is to open cabinets around the house, like kitchen cabinets, to let the heat in -- especially cabinets that are near an outside wall.

Bass says you can also keep your water running at a trickle, and that this is not the time to turn down the heat when you leave your house.

"Keeping your heat in your house at a constant 70 degrees or so.  Try not to lower that heat too much to save some money.  Just keep it at a constant 70 degrees or 68 degrees which you would normally have because when you turn that down when you go to work, it's going to be a little bit harder for that system to keep the house as warm as you might like it and some of that cold might infiltrate and hit those pipes," he said.

He's been answering calls for frozen or burst water pipes.  

"If you do have frozen pipes, my first advice is to turn off the water to the house, just in case that frozen pipe has split or broken and it's still frozen and you don't know that.  You thaw it out and all of a sudden it starts spraying water.  You want to make sure the water is off first," said Bass.

He warns you should never thaw pipes with any kind of open flame.

You will also want to keep your heating system working well.

"The most important thing for the heating system, make sure you've been keeping up with the maintenance schedule," said Bass.  "Have it serviced once a year, have it cleaned, make sure it's operating properly, make sure it is ready for days and weeks like we're having right now."

Bass says you also want to change your filters and make sure your outside vents are not blocked by snow or anything else.

More information:

American Red Cross: Preventing frozen pipes


Kumi Tucker

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