Now’s the time to protect your pipes or risk pricey repairs

Plumber discusses how to prevent frozen pipes

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - With the bitter cold upon, now is a good time to remember to protect the pipes both inside and outside of your home. Montgomery area plumbers say they haven’t been slammed with calls yet but know they’re coming based on history.

Ice is a thing of beauty but not when it freezes your pipes. Then, it becomes a nightmare. Stan Payne’s been a plumber for 40 years and knows all too well what’s coming; the phone calls.

“Not today we haven’t, but we’re expecting them,” said Payne who is the Plumbing Field Manager for Dixie Electric, Plumbing and Air.

You might be surprised to learn this is not the busiest time of the year for plumbers.

“We’re busy year ‘round. This just adds to it,” Payne said.

Payne said one reason they haven’t gotten the high volume calls right now is because, even though it got really cold Monday night, it hasn’t been cold long enough.

You’ve heard it before; allow your faucets to trickle with a mix of cold and hot water, open your kitchen cabinet doors and keep your home comfortably warm. The pipes typically freeze in the walls.

“Yeah, keep it in the mid-60 degree range,” said Payne.

And one other thing to remember; now is the time to disconnect those garden hoses, “because the hose will freeze and that ice will actually go back up into the faucet,” Payne explained.

Payne remembers all too well Dec. 1983, an Artic outbreak in which plumbers like him saw a 30 percent increase in their business due to frozen pipes.

“I remember it well. The temperatures were in the teens,” Payne recalled.

The average repair job? “$200 to $300 range,” he said, adding “it’s time consuming.”

Let it be a reminder to let the water flow instead of the dollars from your wallet.

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