3 ways to protect yourself against frozen pipes as temps dive

Cold weather, like the kind hitting the tri-state area, can do some serious damage. It’s a mess, however, that can be avoided.

News 12 Staff

Jan 31, 2021, 3:32 PM

Updated 1,230 days ago

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Cold weather, like the kind hitting the tri-state area, can do some serious damage. Each winter, an average of 250,000 homes suffer water damage caused by frozen pipes.
In this Consumer Alert, News 12's Walt Kane looks at how you can protect yourself from falling victim to frozen pipes.
Frozen pipe damage can be extensive. Code enforcement official and master plumber Steve Rodzinak ends up declaring several homes uninhabitable after frozen pipe problems.
"We've had literally where ceilings have fallen down, there's 4 foot of water in the basement,” says Rodzinak. “Now you have insulation to replace, you got to recertify all your electrical systems, because they've gotten water into them. You have to check your heating, so all your mechanical systems have to be going through. It can be a mess.”
It’s a mess, however, that he says can be avoided. Rodzinak's advice? 
  1. - Keep the thermostat at 65 degrees or higher.
  2. - Disconnect garden hoses and shut off the water supply to outside faucets.
  3. - For sinks on outside walls, leave the cabinet door open on cold days and let a trickle of water run.
A lot of experts say to take these precautions when the temperature drops below 20 degrees. Rodzinak takes it a step further and says to consider the wind, too.
"It could be 32 degrees and windy and you'll have frozen pipes. It could be 20 degrees and there is no wind and you don't end up with the problem,” says Rodzinak. "That wind finds all the little crevices and holes and gets into the house."


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