How To Keep Pipes From Bursting When It Freezes Again

The worst of the freezing weathering appears to be over, for now. Lows tonight are expected to be mostly in the mid 30's. But another round of cold air is due by the weekend, bringing overnight lows back to near-freezing. This is as good a time to make sure the exposed pipes in and around your home are well protected. David Pitman has more.

If you live in a house with a slab foundation, it doesn't take much time, effort, or money to keep your pipes from freezing.  Houston plumber Michael Kramer says all you have to do is wrap any section of pipe that's exposed to the elements.

"They make commercial pipe wrappings that you can buy at your local box hardware stores and your small hardware stores that's made to fit the exact size of your pipes, and is very easily applied to your pipes."

Kramer says people who live in houses built on pier-and-beam foundations are facing a somewhat bigger job to ensure their pipes will stay intact through the winter.

"They should certainly, if at all possible, either themselves, or have someone, crawl underneath those types of buildings.  And the same rules apply, everything exposed to the elements needs to be covered and protected."

Kramer says no matter what kind of foundation your house is on, once you wrap your pipes, you do 'not' have to leave the faucets dripping.  He says doing that puts needless strain on water supplies, and adds too much to your bill.  He says if we experience a hard freeze over several days, it would also be a good idea to crack open the passage into the attic, to keep pipes up there from freezing.
 

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David Pitman

Local Host, Morning Edition

The one question David hears most often isn't "What is it like to work for an NPR member station?" or "Have you ever met Terry Gross?" (he has)...