Plumber offers tips on frozen pipes

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The deep freeze hitting our region is also wreaking havoc on the plumbing systems of homes and businesses. Plumbers across the area are being kept busy making house calls to fix burst pipes and broken water heaters.

“The water was just geysering up all the way to the top of the roof there.” said John Pruett, who called in Hiller Plumbing Wednesday morning after his outdoor pipes froze, and blew off a spigot. The frozen burst pipe knocked off water to his entire home.

“So basically, instead of a frostproof faucet or a yard hydrant, we’ve got a PVC hose bin that is outside that is frozen and busted, and the PVC is really not ideal. It wasn’t wrapped in insulation,” said George Ford of Hiller Plumbing.

Ford said homeowners who have pipes outside their house like Pruett’s, including leading to a water heater, should book an appointment with a plumber to replace them with ones that are made for the outdoors and properly insulated. And Ford said during extended freezing spells like this one, homeowners should consider turning the water supply to their homes off overnight, and allowing water to drip from their faucets during the day.

“Let your water drip for sure, even a little stream, if you haven’t done any of this and your pipes freeze, you know go ahead and open your faucets back up,” said Ford.

Fortunately, Ford was able to make a temporary fix to Pruett’s piping and get the water back on Wednesday evening, but he added that plenty of work still remained before the problem was permanently fixed.

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