JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- With the Polar Vortex hovering over Florida and Georgia, the cold temperatures could do a number on your pipes. On Your Side, how can you help prevent pipe bursts at home?
Ken Caster has some of the answers. His 26 years of expert plumbing experience come in handy, especially on a cold day like Tuesday as Fla. and Ga. are gripped by freezing cold. He is a Plumbing Quality Control Manager for David Gray Plumbing.
"It's most similar to the time when I think it was '82 or '83," he said. "However, it's not staying as long."
He said they had more than 800 calls back then. Early Tuesday morning, there were about three instances of burst exposed pipes.
"Other than that, we expect more tomorrow," Caster said.
First For You, how to help prevent burst pipes, Caster said:
1) Keep the water flowing.
2) Leave the spigots on each end of the house slightly running.
3) If you can't do that, let the furthest fixture inside run.
"Just a small drool," he explained while turning on a bathtub faucet. "A little bit bigger than a pencil lead is all you need."
Caster also suggests:
4) Keep exposed water heaters insulated.
5) Wrap or insulate outdoor pipes.
6) Wrap spigots with insulation or a sock, rag or towel.
"This is what you should do tonight before you go to bed," he said after he wrapped an outside faucet with insulation material.
But, what if something starts to leak?
"A key thing is to get the water shut off as soon as you can," he advised.
Got frozen outdoor pipes? Caster said if you can, open the faucet.
"If you're really anxious and need that to work, you can plug in a hair dryer or even some type of light bulb put it neat it to where it warms that area quicker," Caster explained.