With temperatures dropping to near and below zero overnight, the threat for freezing and bursting pipes is high.
Blake Pfeifer, owner and operator of Arrow Plumbing & Heating in Colorado Springs, said the leading cause for “freeze-ups” is when homeowners turn their heat down when they leave their home.
“I would never recommend anything lower than 60 degrees, especially in weather like this,” said Pfeifer.
He said letting water trickle from faucets is also important, because it takes longer to freeze streaming water than it does to freeze standing water. Pfeifer said both the cold and hot water pipes need to be engaged.
“Don’t ever assume that ‘oh, the hot water line isn’t going to freeze because it’s hot.’ Hot water freezes just as fast as cold water, and some people say faster,” said Pfeifer.
Opening cupboards when temperatures drop allows warm air to circulate around pipes, which can assist in the prevention of freezing.
Of particular concern are pipes on outer walls, as these will have more direct contact with the cold air outside, said Pfeifer. He also said the temperatures do not have to be below zero to cause a pipe to freeze and burst.
“I’ve seen some freeze-ups occur when we’ve only gotten down to 15, 20 degrees if it is exposed to a cold source,” said Pfeifer.
According to Pfeifer, homeowners should not rely on a patch to fix a burst pipe. He said it is important to get the pipe repaired properly, to prevent further damage.
If a pipe does burst, Pfeifer said the cost of repairs can cost thousands of dollars.