Sub-freezing temps create plumbing problems in South Georgia - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sub-freezing temps create plumbing problems in South Georgia

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Two soldering torches running on a frozen pipe outside an Albany store Two soldering torches running on a frozen pipe outside an Albany store
Greg Sinclair, Plumber Greg Sinclair, Plumber
Michael Cody, Fire Sprinkler Specialist Michael Cody, Fire Sprinkler Specialist
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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

With temperatures remaining below freezing all day in most of South Georgia, Some of your pipes might be froze, and you might not know it until you have a costly mess on your hands.

Plumbers say water damage could cost thousands of dollars to fix.  But some simple steps like insulating your pipes could save your bank account.

A plumber's soldering torches can have a new use in sub-freezing conditions.

"We're trying to thaw this out.  May not get anywhere, but it'll give an effort at least," said Greg Sinclair, Plumber, as he runs his torches over some exposed pipes, which he said often become the poster child for plumbing complications. 

"We use a plastic rock or some other type of cover.  Sometimes they get blown away, they get stolen or whatnot.  It just keeps the cold from getting to it," he said. 

Now the frozen pipes are part of the numerous others across the city.

"Really, the only way to tell if you got a busted pipe is if you see water.  If it's frozen and it's broken, you're not gonna see it till it thaws out," he said.

Emergency systems aren't safe from the cold either.

"We've had a couple of freeze damage calls this morning.  Nothing too major, but tomorrow will be a busy day," said Michael Cody, Fire Sprinkler Specialist.

Cody said quickly thawing pipes could rupture fire safety systems, which could cause major flooding. "Some of these systems can put out anywhere from 500 gallons a minute, upward to 1200 gallons a minute if they have a fire pump on them."   

And while finding a frozen pipe can be harder than expected, there are some signs to look for.

"There's different indicators we use," said Sinclair.  "If you suspect something is on or running, and you may have a busted pipe, you check your meter there's a small dial." 

It may be the most important gauge.

"But if it's moving at a good pace and you've got all your water off, something is leaking," he said.   A simple step, he said, that could alert you to seek help before serious damage is done.

Plumbers said you should also let your pipes drip because running water won't freeze.  And make sure to plan ahead to avoid disaster.  Emergency systems such as fire sprinklers may need to be checked by a certified inspector to make sure they're not in danger of freeze damage.

 

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