ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – With wind chill temperatures forecast to be well below zero this weekend, many people will be spending time indoors.
A freezer like the one in Missouri is dangerous to humans and animals, but it can be a lot of business for the plumbing industry. “The phone is ringing,” said Rick Rolwes of Performance Plumbing.
Rolwes said multiple calls come in every day about frozen or burst pipes, a messy problem that can cost thousands of dollars to fix. “We had one last night, it ran a couple of days, he went downstairs and he wasn’t monitoring his basement and it flooded the basement,” he said. “It’s subtle, it can be a small crack that runs down the pipes and floods the carpet.”
In general, plumbers say that kitchens and bathrooms with outward-facing walls are the greatest risk for frozen pipes. Older homes with poor or worn insulation can also spot the problem.
There are a few things you can do to minimize the chance of pipes freezing. First of all, make sure your thermostat is running consistently at a good temperature. Plumbers warn people to turn off or turn off the thermostat when they leave town.
You should also open cabinet doors or vanities to allow warm air to circulate around exposed pipes in a kitchen or bathroom. If the faucets drip overnight, the water will also move through the pipes, reducing the chances of the water freezing.
“If it’s not on an inside wall, you should be in pretty good shape unless it’s an older home,” said Rolwes. “If you have an older home, you need to make sure you keep the thermostat warm, keep all the doors in the house open to circulate air, keep the ceiling fans on, and keep all closet doors open.”
Drain Masters Plumbing in St. Charles County recently said it was responding to five or six requests for frozen pipes every day. This number is expected to increase as the weekend freezes.
“If you turn on your faucet, usually your kitchen faucet or bathroom faucet, when you run out of water or when you lose water pressure, it’s a good indication that the plumbing is frozen,” said Martin Parrella, who owns the Drain Masters Plumbing with his brother Tom.
On Friday, the couple received a call for a frozen pipe in a RV in O’Fallon. After crawling under the house to examine the damage, they thawed the section of pipe before removing it. “It’s worth about 25 feet of pipe,” Parrella said. “The homeowner has been without water for a few days.”
According to State Farm, the insurance agency paid out $ 60 million in claims for frozen pipes in 2020. On average, each claim cost about $ 15,000, according to the company.
Tom Parrella sometimes said homeowners don’t notice a pipe is cracked until the spring. “When the temperature starts to rise and we eventually get back to 32 or higher, burst pipes or split pipes will start flowing again and the homeowner won’t know until they see water dripping out.” running down the ceiling or wall, “he said.
Both companies said when a whistle bursts it can make an audible sound or it can be subtle. If this happens, turn off the main water valve immediately and call a plumber.
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