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Archive for Thursday, December 23, 2010

Local experts offer advice for avoiding frozen pipes and costly repairs

December 23, 2010

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Terry Lewis knows that this winter pipes across Lawrence are in danger.

Even when the temperature drops to 30 degrees, pipes can freeze, said the service manager for Kastl Plumbing in Lawrence.

“But when it drops down to 20 degrees and it sustains that for two to three days, they’re really going to start popping,” he said.

He and the city of Lawrence offered a few tips and reminders to protect against an expensive repair this season.

• Leave cabinet doors under the sink open, so that heat from the house can reach the pipes.

• If it gets really cold, leaving a small stream of water running from faucets can prevent freezing — but Lewis said that hot water can freeze faster than cold water (yes, you can look it up), so it’s important to leave hot water on, too, in addition to cold water.

• Disconnect outdoor hoses to allow water to drain.

• Insulate exposed pipes in unheated areas, such as crawl spaces.

• During extended absences away from home, leave the heat on to avoid broken pipes.

• Seal off cracks and repair broken windows, but be careful to avoid plugging heater vents.

• Identify the master shut-off valve so that it can be easily found if a pipe bursts to minimize water damage.

• When installing new pipes, consider plastic pipes, which are typically cheaper, and can expand up to 10 times their normal size before bursting, Lewis said.

Comments

booyalab 3 years, 3 months ago

"Lewis said that hot water can freeze faster than cold water (yes, you can look it up)"

As the lazy reader, I would rather not be told to go look elsewhere for an explanation that could easily fit into the paragraph I'm already reading.

Here's the reason for that counter-intuitive phenomenon....hot water evaporates, less water freezes more quickly.

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riverdrifter 3 years, 3 months ago

Install PEX tubing. Less likely to freeze and if it does, it's less likely to burst.

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justfornow 3 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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none2 3 years, 3 months ago

I can really relate to this story. Years ago, I didn't think to unscrew my outdoor hose. I ended up having to have the pipe replaced.

More recently, The other day I was looking at potentially buying a house in Atchison for a relative. The house wasn't shown very often. The owner is in the nursing home now, and the property's care taker had forgotten to turn on the heat. (He had put the thermostat on a warmer temperature, but forgot to switch it to heating.) Anyway, there was water dripping down from the upstairs bathroom into the downstairs hallway in the front of the house, and the kitchen and dinning room located in the back of the house had an inch of standing water. The basement had water too and some water had even fallen on top of the central heating system. It is a good thing I was interested in seeing the property, otherwise who knows how many days that would have continued. Needless to say. I feel sorry for the owner. She will get less money for whomever decides to buy her home.

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faceit 3 years, 3 months ago

458casul. Those are magic pipes. They don't burst...even when filled with crack.

Grandma, You better reread your own posts before you throw stones...

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Michael Capra 3 years, 3 months ago

wow terry ten times there normal size thats big 1in to 10 inch pipe where can i by that special pipe

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