Plumbers Advise Homeowners To Prepare Now For Frigid Temps - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Plumbers Advise Homeowners To Prepare Now For Frigid Temps

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Snow and ice cover houses in Cookeville, Tennessee on Thursday, January 2, 2013. (Viewer-submitted photo) Snow and ice cover houses in Cookeville, Tennessee on Thursday, January 2, 2013. (Viewer-submitted photo)

by Todd Walker

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The coldest temperatures in 15 years are expected soon in Middle Tennessee. Experts said homeowners should prepare now while they have the chance.

Temperatures have been forecast for well below freezing, starting Sunday and going through Wednesday morning. Monday's high temperature has been projected to be in the teens in Nashville, with the overnight low between 2 and 4 degrees. 

The cold snap is expected to rival the cold temperatures Middle Tennessee saw in February of 1996. Plumbers said that was an awful year for frozen and burst pipes. Waiting lists for service were pages long.

Andrew Ward has been a plumber for more than 40 years. He currently owns Republic Plumbing in Nashville. He said the main thing homeowners need to do is make sure your crawl space is sealed off.

"The problem is that water does so much damage," he said. "If your pipes freeze and it's going to bust, then it has already busted. The act of freezing is when the water expands and that's when the damage happens. It's real important if you've got frozen pipes not to leave the water on if you leave the house. It could thaw while you're gone and run for quite a while before you get back.

Ward recommended some other tips to keep your pipes from freezing.

  • In addition to sealing off the crawl space, disconnect any garden hoses that may still be outside.

  • If you have a sink that backs up to an outer wall, like in your kitchen, open the cabinets underneath it so you can let warm air in.

  • Leave your pipes dripping so water will continue to run. Stagnant water has a better chance of freezing in place.

  • If your pipes do freeze up, do not use a blow torch to try and thaw them. Use a hair dryer.

  • The biggest cause of problem will be from any vents being open under your house.

Ward said the best thing to do is go into the crawl space and shut the door. If you see any light, that is where cold air is getting in.

Even a piece of cardboard covering an opening is better than nothing.

Ward posts other tips on Republic Plumbing's website, republicplumbing.com/

Email: twalker@newschannel5.com
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