It has been a temperature roller coaster this winter. One day highs are in the 50’s and the next back into the polar plunge. Winter is far from over and frozen pipes last year cost Nebraskans hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage and repairs. Anthony Anderson is with State Farm Insurance and says a small crack in a pipe can send up to 250 gallons of water a day through your water system and that can cause flooding, structural damage and the risk of mold.
Anderson says, “The average claim for frozen pipes in Nebraska is about $12,000. We had a total of 72 claims with nearly $900,000 in paid losses.”
Pipes typically freeze due to quick drops in temperature, poor insulation or thermostats set too low.
If your pipes freeze, Anderson says don’t panic. Turn on the faucets and if nothing comes out leave them on and call a plumber. Never try to thaw them with a torch or open flame. If the pipe breaks, turn off the water at the main shut off and leave the faucets turned on.
Anderson offers a few prevention tips. A trickle of hot and cold water might be all it takes to keep pipes from freezing. Let warm water drip overnight. Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both night and day. Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.