The Shawnee News-Star
  • Frozen pipes; Plumbers provide pointers

  • Frozen pipes are bursting across the city, resulting in havoc for residents and an excess of service calls for plumbers.
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  • Frozen pipes are bursting across the city, resulting in havoc for residents and an excess of service calls for plumbers.
    Shawnee plumbers advise at which stage a professional should be contacted, but assert frozen pipes are avoidable.
    “People should run their faucets, but they have to open up the hot and cold,” Scott Cunningham, owner of Anytime Quality Plumbing, says. “It should have a steady stream, about the size of a pencil. Just a drip doesn’t help. That’s really just a waste of water.”
    Rob Cutter, general manager of American Eagle Plumbing, suggests covering outside vents, protecting pipes from direct wind, as continual heat circulation is critical for healthy pipes.
    “Also open up your cabinets,” Cutter says. “It allows the heat to circulate underneath where water lines are.”
    Televisions and other noise-emitting devices should be off at night so pipe bursts are easily audible, says Cutter. To know if a frozen pipe has experienced damage, Cunningham recommends checking for decreased water pressure levels and listening for unusual sounds.
    “If all the faucets and everything are turned off and it still sounds like a toilet running or filling-up, it means a pipe has burst and is leaking water out under the house,” Cunningham says.
    Residents are encouraged to call a professional as soon as damage is suspected.
    “Call when water no longer comes out of the faucet,” Cutter says. “If it comes to a trickle, call immediately, before it gets worse.”
    If a pipe does burst, Cutter says to shut off water promptly and turn the water heater down to pilot, to prevent overheating and an explosion. The Shawnee Municipal Authority 24-hour emergency hotline acts as an important resource, especially if an after-hours plumber is unavailable. If a resident experiences flooding, the city is able to temporarily discontinue service. While plumbing systems are naturally vulnerable to emergencies under winter conditions, they can be strengthened by persistent care throughout the year.
    “Keep an eye on your water heater and drain it every six months. If you see corrosion, that’s an indication that something is about to leak,” Cunningham says. “Just try to perform routine maintenance.”
    The Shawnee Municipal Authority after-hours emergency phone number is 405-273-0890.
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