Many Nebraskans are experiencing an unpleasant surprise when they return home after being gone all day. These frigid temperatures can freeze water pipes inside homes and cause them to break. Wade Mayfield is president of Thermal Services Heating, Air and Plumbing in Omaha and he says there are a few things you can do to prevent coming home to a broken or frozen pipe. He says one of the biggest culprits is leaving an attached garage door open.
“Don’t open your garage door and start your car. That is the perfect way to introduce carbon monoxide into your home and it introduces a ton of cold air into the home. So, get the cars out of the garage. Limit the time the garage door is up. Make sure it your garage door is down and nicely sealed.”
Mayfield says a few other tips can prevent big problems.
“Open the cabinet doors where you have a sink so the warm air from the occupied space can freely communicate with the area under the sinks where the pipes are. We only recommend it if you are going to be home in case the drain starts to plug up or something, you can let a little bit of water run through the pipes as well. That kind of keeps the flow going so water doesn’t sit there long enough to freeze.”
Mayfield says if a pipe bursts, the first priority is to shut off the running water.
“Locate the main shut off to the home. Try to get that shut off. If you are fortunate enough, under the sink or where the break is, if there is another smaller valve, whatever you can do to isolate the break from a continuous water flow.”
If that happens, Mayfield says you will have to call in a professional to replace the damaged pipe.