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Precautions

Plumbers said they hope that local residents take the proper precautions throughout the week. Jim Davis of Jim Davis & Son Plumbing Company said that it’s been cold enough this winter that perhaps people will be more aware of what the low temperatures can do to their pipes.

“Last year, it got extremely cold,” Davis said. “There were a lot of people who found out the hard way how to prepare for the winter. It was one of the worst years I’ve seen because of the wind chill factor.”

Residents often know that leaving faucets dripping in the house can keep pipes from freezing, but that’s not all the plumbers advised. Ellis said it’s important to keep in mind that the ultimate goal is keeping cold air from reaching the pipes.

Local plumbers said that besides leaving the faucets running, it’s also important to remove hoses from spigots, to know where your shutoff valve is, to close all exterior vents and crawl spaces and to leave all cabinet doors open.

“One of the biggest mistakes people make is leaving their ventilators and crawl spaces open,” Davis said.

Harris agreed.

“The most common reason for frozen pipes is crawl space vents being left open in the winter,” said Harris. “These vents should be closed during the winter to conserve heat in the crawl space and to prevent freezing. The second most common reason for frozen pipes is outside hose pipes being left attached outside.”

Wind

Wind increases the likelihood of pipes freezing as they carry that cold air quickly into the house from the crawl space or basement to the attic, according to Davis.

“We all need to practice in keeping the cold wind out,” Davis said. “The temperature doesn’t freeze the pipes as much if you don’t have the wind blowing.”

Davis also recommended that gas-heating consumers should have their furnaces inspected and make sure that they are in good working order. Sometimes exhaust vents and chimneys get clogged up, he said.

Posted 9:25 AM  View Comments

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