12 On Your Side: Cold causing frozen and bursting pipes

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News 12 at 6 o'clock / Jan. 30, 2014


Imagine two-thousand pounds of pressure per square inch. That is the force frozen water can exert on a pipe before it bursts ruining your home but experts say planning ahead can save you thousands of dollars in damage.

"There's a lot more people who are in the CSRA that could suffer these catastrophes by having ruptured water lines," said Larry Jones, owner of Universal Plumbing in Augusta. It is an ominous warning for some folks whose water lines may still be frozen following this latest round of winter weather..

Jones said some folks still may not be out of the woods. "If they have pressure in their houses chances are they are out of the woods," said Jones.

But if no water is coming out of your pipes it could mean big problems and it is not the only sign of trouble. Jones said if you hear a hissing sound, it could be bad news. He said it could indicate a frozen line is about to burst. That is what happened to Kevin Hart.

"I heard some hissing sound and then I already knew it. I already knew it. All of my neighbor's pipes have been busting all down the line," said Hart. Fortunately for him, Motel 6 offered him a free room. Jones said you can prevent it from happening to your pipes by planning before freezing temperatures set in.

He is advising folks to let their faucets run a steady stream of water and not just a drip which can still freeze similar to how icicles form.
Meanwhile there are things you should do outside your home as well. "If it's 30 degrees outside and the wind is blowing, it could possibly be 20 degrees under that house," said Jones.

So you will want to use insulation on all your pipes even in the attic. Jones said if you need to use a plumber you want one that stands behind their work. "If there's a problem on the backside this person will come back and service or make sure they make corrections," said Jones.