Frigid temps mean frozen pipes

A few steps can prevent costly plumbing and repair bills.

RAPID CITY, S.D. – We’ve already seen some frigid temperatures here in the Black Hills. However, winter has only just begun.

Pipes can freeze whenever the temperature falls below freezing.

With those temperatures, homeowners face a potentially devastating hazard: frozen pipes.

Whenever outside temperatures drop below freezing, frozen and burst pipes are a possibility if cold air surrounds them.

It’s important to prevent frozen pipes, since a burst pipe could be bad news for your wallet.

“You’re looking at anywhere from $2-300 to $4-5,000,” said Mitchell Hove, a plumber with Loyal Plumbing in Rapid City. “It depends on the extent of the freeze and the break and how much needs to be replaced and where that’s located at. It very easily can be in the thousands of dollars.”

Some simple steps can keep your pipes safe during a cold snap:

  • Cover vulnerable pipes with an insulating material to protect from the cold.
  • And if your pipes run along an outside wall of your home, open your cabinet doors to allow warm air from the house to surround them.
  • Leave your faucets on a slow drip. It is very difficult for moving water to freeze.
  • If you must be away for more than a day or so, keep your heat on at a lower temperature. About 55 degrees is usually enough and will save you money.

And keep in mind that mobile homes are particularly at risk for frozen pipes.

With cold weather on the way, plumber Mitchell Hove shows a specially-designed spigot that can help prevent frozen pipes. Photo Date: Dec. 28, 2018.

Hove shows an outdoor spigot that can help prevent a frozen pipe.

“The biggest thing in a mobile home is mobile homes are off the ground,” Hove said. “All of their drains and water pipes are run under the trailer. That exposes them more to the elements of the cold especially when we get those super big cold snaps.”

Mobile homes need special equipment to protect the exposed pipes from the cold.

“The biggest thing I can say is get heat cable on your pipes, Hove advised. “They’ll keep that heat up on those water pipes to prevent them from freezing in the first place. As long as those are working properly, you should never have to worry about freezing pipes.”

Should you have any doubts about how well prepared your plumbing is for the cold, many plumbers will do free evaluations and make recommendations.

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