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Preventing pipe bursts following cold - KOAM TV 7

Preventing pipe bursts following cold

Updated:
JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

Plumber Gary McKinney has a busy day after the cold temperatures leave pipes frozen and water systems broken.

"The big thing people miss with that is it's critical to leave something dripping on the hot and the cold sides. If you just leave one side, then the other side will still have the tendency to freeze," McKinney said.

Knowing how and where to turn off your own water following frozen pipes can save your home from catastrophic damage. 
It can take a plumber or the water company 30 minutes or longer to get to your home, leaving your home flooded. 

"The second biggest thing is to make sure your crawl space if you have a crawl space that goes underneath your house, that it's all sealed up as tight as you can get it. Closing the vents, the fresh air vents make sure all of those are closed. Make sure the crawl space opening is covered," McKinney said.

Crawl spaces can be insulated with some bales of hay and will prevent cold air from entering underneath your house and freezing pipes.

"If you have a well make sure you have a heat lamp or some kind of heat source in your well house to keep the pump from freezing up on you. Make sure everything's batted down good and tight and it should prevent any catastrophic events," McKinney said.

If you suspect your pipes have burst -- stay at your home. More damage can occur while you are away.

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