How to prevent your pipes from freezing

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - This cold weather in Knoxville made plumbing companies pretty busy. Many homeowners woke up to no water and found out their pipes were frozen. It can be a big mess if it's not taken care of right away.

The Plumbing Authority in Knoxville was constantly getting calls on Tuesday to repair frozen pipes - so much so they had to make a waiting list.

The company stocked up on supplies anticipating a busy week. It paid off because they are working overtime to keep up with the demand.

"Being in the south, a lot of the plumbing isn't super deep in the ground. It's not well insulated because it's not typically in freezing temperatures for more than 24 or 48 hours," said Kelton Balka, an operations manager.

On Tuesday afternoon, they were in the attic of a West Knoxville home. Ray Wright has just enough water to make a cup of coffee. A few mornings ago, he woke up to find nothing coming out of his faucets. 

"It's a bit of a surprise and a shock. We are so accustomed to having all of the conveniences," Wright said.

He did not expect this to happen after only living here for less than a year. However, there are things homeowners can do to prevent their pipes from freezing.

"Put a heater up there, a little electric heater and just keep it going," said Balka.

If your pipes are frozen, don't turn your faucets off. Instead, you want to keep them on. This will help prevent your pipes from bursting while they thaw. Balka said the worst thing to do is to let the pipes thaw on their own.

He also encouraged homeowners to leave a faucet dripping throughout the night. He said moving water has a harder time freezing. Heat tape can also do the trick.


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