On Your Side: Protect Your Pipes

By: Jeff Anderson Email
By: Jeff Anderson Email

News 12 at 6, January 2, 2008

AUGUSTA -- Cold temperatures create all sorts of other problems, especially when it comes to plumbing. It's a time when a little drip can go a long way to save your pipes.

You hear it every year: you need to drip your faucets to keep them from freezing and creating big bills from pipes that burst. But is that necessary here? You better believe it.

Bundling up is not an option right now, it's a requirement. Ice is on the ground, not necessarily from snow or sleet. It's more likely from sprinklers watering the street. Water that can become ice, the same kind that can make a big mess of your pipes.

They all tend to freeze the same," said Hardy Plumbing's Dallas Sanders.

He added it doesn't matter if your water runs through PVC or copper, it can freeze. And that can create major problems for you.

"It will stay frozen until it thaws; that's when you find out you have a leak," Dallas said.

Dallas says it's a problem that easily happens right here in Augusta when the temperature drops below 20 degrees for a night or two.

And, especially on the pipes that are exposed to the wind, like the ones on an outside wall.

So what do you do to keep it from happening? How about taking advantage of an old piece of advice and drip your faucets.

"It does work. That's been something people have been doing for a long time. It keeps the water moving through the pipes to protect it from freezing," Dallas said.

It’s an easy step to take to keep you from having to call Dallas or another plumber to fix what will undoubtedly be an expensive and messy problem.

We are still in a drought, so you may be worried about wasting water by dripping. What you can do is collect the water in a container and then use it for something else the next day.

Also, turn off your sprinklers. The water in them can also end up freezing and then breaking them.

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  • by Andrew McCaskill Location: Aiken on Jan 3, 2008 at 05:49 AM
    You left out one important activity to protect pipes: open cabinets under sinks. By opening the cabinets, the pipes are able to stay a little warmer and help protect against freezing. We learned to do this in Western North Carolina and it really does not cost any extra.
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