Consumer Watch: Tips For Keeping Pipes From Bursting

Wednesday, February 2nd 2011, 9:43 pm
By: News 9

Amanda Taylor, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY – With the arctic temperatures not expected to let up, News 9's Consumer Watch Team found a few tips for dealing with frozen pipes and how to prevent them from bursting.

Daniel Ice with Mullin Plumbing expects to see a lot more busted pipes in the coming days, but there is some preventative maintenance you can do that the experts say works remarkably well.

"When that water starts to unthaw, we want to prevent this by having the water go somewhere. If your faucet's on, it will go out. If it has nowhere to go it will bust the pipe," said Ice.

Even if you turn on your faucet and nothing comes out, keep the water on anyway. It will give the water a place to escape when it starts to thaw. And you'll want to thaw it quickly by using a space heater or hair dryer.

"The longer you keep water frozen in the pipes without thawing, it will cause expansion. Like if you put a 20oz bottle in freezer, it will weaken the bottle and it will bust," said Ice.

If you don't have any frozen pipes yet, and you'll know by going around your house and making sure water comes out, go ahead and leave the water running.

Experts say if you have a sink on an exterior wall it's even more important to keep water running. It's those pipes that have a tendency to break.

You can also open the cabinet doors and use a space heater to keep the pipes warm. A viewer also suggested getting a heat lamp with a temperature sensitive switch and aiming it at your pipe.

Ice also said not to leave the garage door open because many water heaters are in the garage. He said that will help keep the pipes around the water heater from freezing.

And last, if you haven't insulated your outside faucets yet, Ice said you may want to wait until the weekend. He said if it the pipes are already frozen you could actually do more harm by insulating the cold in.