Freezing weather wreaks havoc on city water pipes

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Huntington residents are noticing lack of water in their homes this season due to frozen pipes.

The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety reports about 37 percent of frozen pipe failures occur in basements. This kind of a failure can cost residents more than $5,000 in repairs to their pipes and anything damaged by water.

John Cleer, owner of Liberty Air Technicians, said people who neglect to check their pipes can cause more problems.

“People will let their pipes go until they break,” Cleer said. “We go on calls to see that people haven’t treated or checked their pipes in a long time. This neglect will only worsen situations.”

Cleer said there are multiple ways to keep your pipes from freezing.

“If your pipes are in your basement, something like a little bit of heat in there helps,” Cleer said. “This could be as simple as having a small space heater in the area. If your pipes are in a crawlspace, you should close your foundation vents. You could also insulate your pipes with a special

type of foam, or even use heat tape, which houses a wire that plugs in to most outlets to warm up your metal pipes.”

Cleer insists pipes should be checked out before and after winter. This can help residents avoid big issues by finding out small problems with their systems.

We go on calls to see that people haven’t treated or checked their pipes in a long time. This neglect will only worsen situations.”

— John Cleer, owner of Liberty Air Technicians

If worse comes to worse and residents do find that their pipes have frozen solid or worse, then they should immediately get ahold of a professional.

“If your pipes are made of plastic, you may be out of luck,” Cleer said. “But if your home contains metal pipes, you should call a plumber immediately. They do have machines that may help you thaw your pipes out.”

Heating and cooling companies in the Huntington area offer assistance to residents with these issues.

William Izzo can be contacted at izzo@marshall.edu.

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