Cold weather could cause trouble for Knoxville home owners

Plumber offers tips of keeping your pipes from freezing

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – With the cold weather here, it’s time to protect your pipes from freezing.

Nina Wisinger’s hot water heater froze last year after moving into her home in North Knoxville. She’s been extra cautious this year after spending hundreds of dollars on repairs.

“As soon as the temperature drops in the 20s, we drip religiously the water inside,” Wisinger said.

Related story: 5 ways to prevent your pipes from freezing in cold weather

She had a plumber come Monday for an annual inspection. Everything looked good except for one thing.

“When you leave a hose like this connected like this, it doesn’t allow it to drain, so it will freeze,” Robert Keith with Knoxville Plumbing said.

Keith suggests keeping cabinet doors open underneath kitchen and bathroom sinks. This allows warmer air to circulate around the pipes.
Keith suggests keeping cabinet doors open underneath kitchen and bathroom sinks. This allows warmer air to circulate around the pipes.

Keith said this is a common mistake home owners make in the winter even if they have a frost proof hose bib.

“A little bit of money up front insulating the pipes, getting things prepared to prevent the freeze can save a lot of money in the long run,” Keith said.

Previous story: Knoxville plumber gives tips on how to prevent freezing pipes

Along with insulating your pipes, which can cost hundreds of dollars, Keith suggests keeping cabinet doors open underneath kitchen and bathroom sinks. This allows warmer air to circulate around the pipes.

“A little ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” Keith said.

“We hope we can prevent it, but there’s always that question what if it happens again and does more damage,” Wisinger said.

The plumbing company said Wisinger will have to get her hose bib replaced, which could cost hundreds of dollars, because she didn’t disconnect her hose.

“So we started to do preventative measures by running the water overnight and dripping it, but we forgot about the outside hose,” Wisinger said.

If your pipes do freeze, you should turn off the water supply to prevent any more damage from happening. From there, it’s recommended you call a professional plumber to find out the extent of the situation.

Keith said they do a thorough evaluation to see what areas are frozen and figure out what needs to be thawed. Using a heater, it slowly thaws frozen pipes so they don’t burst.

Otherwise, it could mean a big hit to your wallet.

“The pipes, once they freeze, they could break,” Keith said.

Once your pipes are back to normal, plumbers say you may need to turn on a few faucets to let the melting water out.

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