Weather Stories

Preventing frozen pipes during bitter cold

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — When temps drop below 20, that’s when service calls go through the roof.

Drew Gomez, a veteran plumber at Peterman Brothers, says he has seen it all. He recalled one of his worst house visits after a pipe rupture. “It flooded their whole basement. The ceiling and drywall were falling down, and the carpet was saturated.”

Gomez says it’s a common mistake when homeowners forget to turn off their water spigot.

It’s “one of the things they mostly forget is to remove the garden hose from the spigot. Even if you don’t put it up, you can at least remove it,” Gomez said.

There are other mistakes you can avoid. Gomez showed some simple things that can be done around the house.

“When you are in your bathrooms, just open the vanity doors and let some heat get into it,” Gomez said.

He also recommends leaving some water trickling from the faucets, making it a part of your nightly routine. “It doesn’t have to be much. Water typically doesn’t freeze when its moves,” Gomez said.

He says homeowners who aren’t aware of the effects of freezing weather may get a headache and a hefty service bill for repairing pipes. The bill can run into the thousands of dollars.

He also mentioned that it’s also important to be mindful of wind chills and close vents to any crawl spaces. “A lot of crawl spaces have crawl space vents, and a lot of customers forget to close them. That’s when the wind blows into the crawl spaces and freezes the water pipes. Make sure they are secure and closed tight,” Gomez said.