Cold Weather Means Plumbers Are Busy

SOMERVILLE, MA (WBZ-AM)  -- For Paul Guzzo, a master plumber at "Prospect Hill Plumbing and Heating" in Somerville has been busy.

As artic air blows through the region,  there are not enough hours in the day if you're a plumber:The cold weather means a lot of business for plumbers in the area.

Guzzo says already gotten a few no heat calls and tells WBZ NewsRadio that it’s a matter of time before he gets a flood of phone calls for frozen pipes.

“It’s going to be busy,” he said.

He says the problem isn't just the cold, it's also the wind getting through cracks especially in older houses:

"A lot of it has to do obviously the temperature and the wind,” he said. 

“The wind fights its way into cracks and crevices of people’s homes and it’s very important for people to be aware of that possibly through basement windows, basement doors,” he said. 

Guzzo says that People don't appreciate how susceptible older homes are to get frozen pipes:

“People today aren’t familiar with a lot  the old homes that these cracks and crevices that the winds gets in and freezes the pipes but the best is to try to keep the cabinets open and try to seal up any openings in the basement,” he said.

In a press release, State Fire Marshall Peter Ostroskey offered tips for preventing frozen pipes during this cold snap.

They include:

  • Letting water drip from a faucet that is served by exposed pipes, because even a trickle of water running through them helps prevent them from freezing.
  • Opening kitchen and bathroom doors to expose plumbing to warmer air.
  • Not turning down the temperature in your home at night.
  • Leaving your home set no lower than 55 degrees while you are away.
  • Turning off outside water.

Ostroskey also recommended tips for thawing frozen pipes:

  • Likely spots for frozen pipes include those that run against exterior walls or areas where water enters through a home's foundation.
  • Keep the faucet open so the water that eventually flows through the frozen pipe helps melt more of the ice inside.
  • Use an electric heating pad wrapped around a pipe, an electric hair dryer, or towels soaked in hot water to heat a pipe--NOT a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heaters, a charcoal stove, or any open flames.
  • If one pipe is frozen, check all the other faucets in your home to see if additional pipes are affected.
  • Be careful if using space heaters to warm up areas near pipes so as not to overload circuits.
  • Don't leave has oven doors open due to carbon monoxide.

He also reminded anyone with a sprinkler system to keep the thermostat set between 50 and 60 degrees to keep the sprinkler pipes from freezing--and to make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on each floor.

WBZ NewsRadio1030's Carl Stevens reports.

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