Cold Weather Keeps Plumbers Busy

The cold snap is playing havoc with pipes and heating equipment across Houston. Area plumbers are receiving calls for emergency repairs after pipes froze and burst overnight. With more cold weather on the way, conditions could get even worse. Pat Hernandez has more.

From one call to another, plumbers were trying to keep pace with problems that resulted from the freezing temperatures. Ron Bevins is operations manager with ABACUS Plumbing in NW Houston.

Ron Bevins
Ron Bevins

“They’ve been ringing off the hook is the understatement of the day, Yes, absolutely. We’re getting a lot of calls for frozen pipes.”

He says despite media reports warning residents, some people aren’t familiar with their homes enough to know of certain areas with exposed pipes that may not have been covered.

“It’s usually the hose bibs, the faucets outside that your garden hose is connected to, or your sprinkler system. Those are generally the ones that are gonna experience this type of freeze that are gonna cause them to freeze up.”

Bevins says generally, pipes in the attic are insulated but some pipes closer to the edges near openings where cold air is brought in could be affected. As far as letting faucets drip, Bevins says there are pros and cons:

“Some people, you leave the water faucets running and they’re on a septic tank, it fills up their septic tanks. Sometimes it’s not the right faucet that’s running, and so there’s a section of pipe that’s still doesn’t get enough flow movements, so you end up having a problem there.”

He recommends leaving cabinet doors open where faucets or water pipes are nearby, to allow the temperature of a warm house to keep them from freezing. Bevins says if you’re now getting around to wrapping your pipes, make sure they are covered with material that won’t get wet from the cold.

“A real simple thing that we always tell customers, take an old rag or an old towel, wrap up the faucett; wrap it up with a trash bag and wrap it with duct tape.”

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