Experts offer advice on preventing pipes from freezing

Local News

As temperatures plunge well below freezing across our area, one major concern for many people is freezing pipes. 

Frigid days and nights can sometimes be a busy time for Roanoke County plumber Art Zampounis.

“Mobile homes are famous for frozen lines, anywhere where there’s cold areas in the house,” he said. 

Kitchen sinks are some of the most common areas for frozen pipes, Zampounis said, as well as bathrooms and basements.

But, he said, there are ways you can avoid this problem.

“You want to keep your house at a steady temperature – usually I recommend anywhere from 60 to 70 degrees,” said Zampounis, who operates A1-Pro Plumbing & Sewer. “If it’s like a seasonal home, I would recommend just shutting your water off for the whole season.”

You can also wrap pipes that may be prone to freezing in insulation or heat wrap, Zampounis said. You may also want to keep your water running at a drip and leave cabinets open under sinks to keep your pipes warm, he added. 

“It’s very important for a homeowner to know exactly where their main shut-off valve is in the basement,” Zampounis said. “Most customers’ homes that I go into – they have no idea where it is.”

If you do have a frozen pipe with a major leak, Zampounis suggests you shut off your water.

Fire officials say you should never use a flame to warm up a frozen pipe.

“FEMA recommends possibly wrapping some rags around it, running a little bit of hot water over it, just doing things other than putting a flame to it,” said John Prillaman, Salem Fire-EMS chief. 

Prillaman said he also wants people to remember to be careful with space heaters. A space heater should be placed three feet away from any object or person and should be turned off before you go to sleep, he added. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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