How to protect your pipes this winter - FOX10 News | WALA

How to protect your pipes this winter

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Local plumbers are expecting a busy week due to freezing temperatures throughout the area. Photo: Kendra Turley, FOX10 News Local plumbers are expecting a busy week due to freezing temperatures throughout the area. Photo: Kendra Turley, FOX10 News
MOBILE, AL (WALA) -

Local plumbers are expecting a busy week due to freezing temperatures throughout the area. 

Cindy McCord, a member at Fulton Road Baptist Church, said "I saw water running behind the hedges to the side of the building and noticed part of it was frozen... part of it was water, and thought probably the faucet had frozen and burst outside."

Adam's Plumbing & Draining Company received over 100 calls in the past few days about frozen or busted pipes.

Jeff Byrd, a plumber with Adam's Plumbing & Draining Company, says "Our pipes stay exposed throughout the year and every so often we'll have these hard freezes and we're not prepared for it."

There are a few easy steps you can take to protect your pipes during the winter. First, let your inside faucets drip to prevent a pipe from bursting. 

"Do not touch your outside faucets. You see the fountains around town freezing up? The same will happen with your outside faucets and that'll cause the hose bibb itself to burst," Byrd said. 

Protect your outside faucets by disconnecting outdoor hoses, and covering the faucets with an insulated enclosure. You can protect pipes inside of your house by insulating them as well. If you notice the water isn't running somewhere in your home, that's a good sign a pipe is frozen. 

Byrd said, "First thing you want to do is isolate the leak and shut the water off or have a plumber come out and turn off the meter."

With the cold weather sticking around a little longer, Byrd says it's a good idea for all homeowners to take the necessary precautions to avoid cold weather damage. 
 
"If our temperatures are below freezing for several hours... that's where we run into problems," Byrd said. 

There are some things to keep in mind when treating frozen pipes. First, keep the faucet open. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe. Second, you can apply heat to the frozen section of pipe by using an electric heating pad, electric hair dryer, a portable space heater, or a hot, wet towel. 

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