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Plumbers offer tips to avoid costly repairs from frozen pipes

Plumbers have been swamped with calls about frozen pipes: a simple problem that can be avoided

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) - The arctic blast that just hit the Valley not only makes it tough to get yourself out of bed, but it can also be tough on your house.

Temperatures have been below freezing since last weekend. Plumber Xavier Ugrate with Roto-Rooter said they've been swamped with calls about frozen pipes. Ugrate said as soon as temperatures drop below freezing you should be concerned about frozen pipes and take precautions.

Wherever there is a water source in your house, there should also be a heat source. Ugrate said many people think they are saving themselves a few bucks by turning the heat down in rooms they aren't using, but the cost you could pay in repairs if your pipes freeze and burst won't be worth it.

"You have to figure full throttle pressure coming out of a water line, so you have anywhere from 60, 70, 80 psi of water coming out of a crack. It can get bad," Ugrate said.

Even if your pipes freeze but don't burst, that can set you back a few hundred dollars.

Just leaving your heat on may not be enough. Ugrate said you should be especially careful if you have sinks that are on the exterior wall of your house. Leaving a faucet dripping can help, because running water is less likely to freeze.

Ugrate sees a lot of garden hoses that are left attached to the water spigot during winter, and that can be a big problem because it's exposed. It's the first thing that will freeze, and if that bursts, it can lead to costly damage inside of the house.

Roto-Rooter plumber Chris Riviera said another mistake people make is leaving home for vacation or holiday travel and not winterizing the house.

"Insulating your pipes will always work because it's not bare metal getting direct wind to it, so anything that has direct wind to it is sure to freeze, especially when it's in the negatives," Riviera said.

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