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Plumbing Companies Busy With Calls For Frozen Pipes

CARNEGIE, Pa. (KDKA) -- Plumbers are busy assisting customers with frozen and broken pipes because of cold temperatures in the Pittsburgh region.

Many people woke up to frozen pipes on Thursday morning and the risk remains a concern because another deep freeze is on the way Friday night.

"It takes a couple of days in a row of really cold temperatures to get frozen pipes. So that's certainly been keeping us busy," said David Wahl, co-owner of Wahl Family Heating, Cooling and Plumbing in Carnegie

Wahl said the company has seen damage repairs costing a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. He has several tips that could prevent your pipes from freezing.

The first tip is to keep the water in your pipes moving.

"When we see single digits, that's when I would go and I would turn the faucet and let it drip and just let it drip consistently. The cost of a plumbing service call versus letting your faucet drip for a day or two, it's probably a lot cheaper to just let that faucet drip," Wahl said, "It just needs to be a drip, a slow drip, just to keep the water moving. You can do it in laundry, bathroom, any sink."

The next piece of advice is to open your cabinets.

"Their kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanity, if pipes are enclosed, they can open up those doors," he said.

Experts also say homeowners should buy insulation to put over pipes. Wahl told KDKA that it's important to close the internal valves that control the water supply to an outside hose. Then drain any remaining water.

If pipes freeze in your home or business, don't try to thaw out the pipes yourself.

"Try to open all the faucets to see if they will start dripping. If they notice water coming through the ceiling or dripping somewhere, call the water company to shut it off. Then call the plumber to fix it," he said.

If you plan to leave your home for an extended period of time, the Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority said to close your main water shut-off valve and drain the system by opening faucets and flushing toilets.

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