How to protect your home from frozen pipes this winter

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Even though temperatures are getting warmer this week, the recent cold snap could have lasting impacts on your plumbing systems.

Nick McCart, plumbing manager at Blue Dot Heating, Air, Plumbing and Electrical, tells 27 News his team often sees an increase in pipe damage after a cold snap. He says the warmer weather is thawing the water pipes, revealing breaks and leaks that may have been hidden by ice.

“Things that were frozen in the last few days that customers didn't know were frozen, like bathrooms in the basement or bathrooms that they hadn't used,” McCart said. “And once it warms up here on Monday, all those frozen pipes that are broken are going to start spewing water.”

McCart said Blue Dot technicians have repaired pipes in over 70 Topeka homes in the last week alone. However, McCart says there are ways for homeowners to avoid such damage.

Running water through sinks and showers for several minutes is one way to prevent pipes from freezing because running water doesn't freeze easily, according to McCart. It is recommended to use hot water to flush the pipes. He also recommends flushing the toilet frequently and leaving cabinet doors open to let in warm air.

The most important thing, says McCart, is knowing how to use the water shutoff in your home. In the event of a pipe burst, it is important to know where the shutoff is, how to reach it, and how to turn it off.

McCart says this will help prevent as much damage as possible before a technician is available to repair it.

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