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Preventing frozen pipes

Single digit overnight temperatures in Arkansas could freeze and burst pipes if precautions are not taken.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -

Much of Arkansas will dip into the single digits tonight...temperatures that we are thankfully rare.

We often think about protecting people and pets...but you have to watch out for your pipes as well.

There will be Arkansans who wake up on Wednesday to a flooded kitchen or bathroom or worse...all because the freezing temperatures froze and burst a pipe.

Frozen water can be fun when it coats the ground in the form of snow. But not when it coats your pipes in the form of ice.

Alton Donalson with Arrow Plumbing will probably work a little overtime this week.

Despite signs outside apartment complexes and mobile home parks and segments on the news reminding people what to do to prevent pipes from freezing...pipes will freeze.

"If we're dipping down below freezing for several days and several nights in a row...everything in the surrounding areas of the pipes and stuff...they get so cold that it will freeze easier if it gets into the single digits especially," warns Donalson.

Donalson says the top two things you can do are leave faucets dripping and open the cabinet doors to help warm up pipes located against outside walls.

Long term solutions include insulating pipes, putting insulated covers over outdoor faucets and limiting air flow if there is a crawlspace underneath your home.

"If you are in a trailer home and you have underpinning make sure that underpinning is complete all the way around to keep the air flow from flowing underneath the trailer or underneath the home,” says Donalson. “Same thing with homes that are what we call crawl spaces. If you have an area under your home that you can access make sure all the vents around the house are closed off."

If you turn on your faucet and nothing comes out your pipes have frozen...but have yet to burst. Hair dryers, space heater or a warm towel with heating pad can all be used to slowly thaw the affected pipe.

Pipes can burst even when precautions are taken. If this happens...shut off all water to your home or apartment and call a plumber.

Air date: January 16th, 2018

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