Tips for handling frozen water pipes

Tips for handling frozen water pipes
MeElhaney's family has been in the plumbing supply business for over 90 years. (Photo source: WDAM)
MeElhaney's family has been in the plumbing supply business for over 90 years. (Photo source: WDAM)

PINE BELT (WDAM) - With temperatures staying below the freezing mark for well over 24 hours, people may be left with frozen or busted water pipes.

A local plumbing supply business owner offered a few tips for people who find themselves in that situation.

"Well, from what we've seen and after yesterday, generally it doesn't stay below freezing down here during the daytime," said John David McElhaney of McElhaney Plumbing Supplies. "When it does for a few days, that's when your pipes generally freeze up, really bad. There's not much you can do until it thaws.

"If you can't get to the pipe so that you can get a torch or something on it to thaw it out, the best thing to do is leave your water open, at a faucet, outside faucet, inside faucet. That's the best thing you can do at this point if it is frozen."

If your pipes are already frozen, waiting it out is the only option left.

"They basically have to wait it out until it thaws out," he said. "If you repair it now it's just going to freeze again with this type of weather."

The best option is to take preventative measures before your pipes freeze.

"This is all I've known all my life and you know the best thing is prevention," McElhaney said. "There's not much else to say but you need to insulate the best you can. But you can't do that till after it happens or before."

His family has been in the plumbing supply business since 1926, and he said his business carries most any type of part for pipe repairs, including plenty of insulation and faucet covers.