Plumbers warn that sudden temperature drop could rapidly freeze pipes

Plumbers say it’s a dangerous combination for your pipes, but a little preparation now can save you a lot of money in repairs.

John Craven

Dec 23, 2022, 1:03 AM

Updated 538 days ago

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Friday’s forecast calls for heavy winds and rapidly dropping temperatures. Plumbers say it’s a dangerous combination for your pipes, but a little preparation now can save you a lot of money in repairs.
"Depending on how many breaks there are, anywhere from $500 to $1,000 – depending on how much damage there is,” said Frank Calise, who owns Westport Plumbing and Heating.
Calise said a few simple steps can prevent frozen pipes.
First, insulate your pipes tightly with a foam cover.
"You want to make sure you get the split stuff, so you don't have to cut it,” said Calise. "And peel the tabs back and they're sticking together."
Next, check your basement storm windows. Many people haven’t secured them since the summer, and Calise said most pipes freeze because of the wind.
"If you don't have your windows blocked out or secure like I do, the window can blow open,” he said.
Finally, check your boiler.
"The worst part about it is, it could shut off,” Calise said. “And if nobody's home, then the house is going to freeze because you have no heat."
No heat means the pipes in your walls could burst, and those are the most expensive to reach.
If you're going to be gone for the holiday, resist the urge to turn your heat down too low. Calise recommends keeping it at least 65 degrees to protect your pipes. And contrary to popular opinion, Calise said to not run your faucets unless you’re home. If you're gone for a few days and the drain backs up, the sink could overflow and flood your house.


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