Master plumber explains how to keep water pipes from freezing
(WJBK) - As the temps continue to drop, make sure to watch your pipes or they could freeze.
"The most common thing is if your hose is still attached from the fall, you're not thinking about it anymore, the ice will freeze right up from the hose into the spigot," said David Greylin.
That water line is often the most vulnerable to freezing over and possibly breaking as it thaws out. Homeowners across metro Detroit may be in for some water woes as exposed or seldom used water pipes succumb to subzero temperatures.
In the more extreme cases we've seen mini mansions transformed into frozen spectacles. Remember the "ice house" in the Boston Edison district?
FOX 2 asked Greylin, a master plumber, how to keep it all from happening - starting with the spigots outside.
"If you're really concerned about it you can simply just turn this valve," he said. "Now you don't have any live water continuing to this spigot. If you're really want to be proactive, this is a little drain right here, now that the water is off I can take this drain and drain out that entire line."
Water pipes behind outside walls with little or no insulation could also freeze over.
"Often times we just tell people to open up the cabinets and let some of that warm air try get to that area as best as you can," Greylin said.
Greylin owns Waterwork Plumbing and says they've received upwards of 20 calls a day the past week for frozen water pipes. He suggests using insulation or heat tape to keep lines from dropping below freezing.
You'll know you're in trouble if you turn on a faucet or spigot and the water comes out slowly or not at all, he said.
If you need to thaw out a water line, experts say don't use an open flame. Instead, use a hairdryer. Then turn on the faucet or spigot and keep that hair dryer running until there's a steady stream of water.
Burst water lines cost homeowners hundreds - and even thousands of dollars.
"I've walked into a house that it was literally raining in the house," Greylin said. "The pipes on the second floor had broken and first the
water was just pouring through the ceiling. And next comes the ceiling, the dry wall and the plaster."
For people living without heat, Greylin says you can keep water lines from freezing by allowing faucets to trickle. It's also important you know where your water meter is and that's it free from clutter in the event you or a plumber needs to shut off water to the house if there's a leak from a burst water pipe.