Extreme cold dangerous for water pipes - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Extreme cold dangerous for water pipes

Even if all precautions are taken you still might find a frozen pipe in your house. Even if all precautions are taken you still might find a frozen pipe in your house.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Cape Girardeau saw record-setting low temperatures on Tuesday and KFVS meteorologists are predicting Heartland residents could see even colder temperatures as the week goes on.

That poses a major problem for your pipes.

In some cases, your pipes may still freeze even if you are turning your water on regularly.

"A lot of homes today are designed for certain temperatures," Chris Janet said, director of Sales for Dutch Enterprises. "When we get down to negative 18 degrees, especially in southeast Missouri, most of these homes are not designed to handle that."

Janet said when it get that cold, there's really nothing else you can do but take precautions.

"A lot of these water lines are already in a finished wall," Janet said. "You're not going to get to them if they weren't insulated properly, if the walls of a home weren't insulated properly. Obviously with this forecast, you're not going to start cutting holes in your walls."

Janet encourages everyone to take some extra precautions this week, like: 

  • leaving water faucets on,
  • leaving your cabinet doors to your sink open,
  • and insulating your water lines.

He also suggests knowing where and how to turn off the water to your house.

"When you suspect the issues, the sooner we can shut the whole supply off to your house, and then drain whatever water is left in your pipes, the less damage that's going to occur to your home," Janet said.

If you do suspect your pipes are frozen, there are some tell-tale signs, like your water pressure has gone down. 

Janet said the key is opening the cold water faucet nearest the frozen pipe to relieve the pressure of expanding ice that may cause the pipe to burst.

"We know that frozen pipes and busted water lines are a nightmare for any homeowner and no one wants to deal with that. Precautions is all that you can do," Janet said.

If your pipes are frozen, homeowners need to be careful when they go to thaw them.

Janet suggests not using a torch or open flame to thaw the pipes.

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