Cold weather means frozen pipes

Photo: Pixabay / WikiImages / MGN

 Nicole Brazier

LINCOLN – Shutting off the water supply that leads to your garden hose is just one of the many ways you can prep your home when a deep freeze threatens your pipes.

This arctic blast has plumbers running ragged. All 300 employees at Gem Plumbing and Heating will be tied up with messy jobs for days.

“Most pipes that freeze and burst are on the outside walls and in the walls and ceilings of the homes… So it’s not just like a little water in the basement when they burst, it’s ceilings that cave in, brand new kitchen cabinets that come down, the damage is overwhelming,” said Larry Gemma, president of the company.

To avoid a problem before it starts there are several steps you can take to keep your pipes functional.

From the old classic advice of keeping your water dripping… to some newer points like actually turning your heat up when temperatures fall to the single digits… even if you’re trying to be smart about your heating bills.

“It’s not worth turning down the heat, at that point that when you need it the most. So for a few days, if you’re not going to be around the house much, make sure you leave the heat on,” said Gemma.

And make sure that your carbon monoxide detector is working.

“When you turn up the heat you have a chance of building carbon monoxide in the home, and if there’s any leakage from your boiler in your basement, you stand the chance of hurting someone in the home,” said Gemma.

Maybe the most important piece of advice… if you think there’s something wrong in your home with either your heat or water pipes… don’t leave until you call a professional in to check it out.
(c) WLNE-TV 2015