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Low temps mean especially high numbers of frozen pipes

cold weather causing frozen pipes

POCATELLO, Idaho - Local plumbers are saying they are already slammed with a high number of calls about people experiencing their pipes falling victim to the chilly temperatures.

For the next three days plumber Ike Sutherland with B&G Plumbing and Heating will be booked, back-to-back with people whose pipes are either frozen or burst.

"We are starting to see the weather spike and now we're chasing our tails pretty good," Sutherland said.

Even the city of Pocatello Water Department said they are responding to an unusually high number of calls this early in the season. They said in February this past year, they received up to almost 100 calls each day regarding frozen pipes. 

Sutherland said there are a number of reasons for frozen pipes most people do not realize until it's too late.

"Typically, it's just cold temperatures. But, it's probably about four different reasons you need to look at as to what you're experiencing a freeze," Sutherland said.

First, he said homeowners need to check to see if cold air is being let into the house. Second, there is usually a design flaw, where pipes are built on the exterior of the house or building, exposing them to the cold air. Third, he said people forget to turn on their heaters. Finally, he said frozen pipes are also due to improper insulation.

This can be an expensive problem, ranging anywhere between $100 up to $2,000 just to fix the problem.

However, Sutherland said this can be avoided by simply remembering to keep your heater running and to keep the water running at times.

The city's water department also said keeping fresh snow over the water meter can act as an insulator and prevent this problem from happening.

Sutherland said if you find your pipes are frozen or have burst, the first step is to check to see if it's a partial or full freeze. 

He said if you find you have a partial freeze in your home, you should first call your local plumber. A partial freeze means you turn your faucet, sink, or shower on and water isn't coming out.

He said if you have a full freeze in your home, you should first call the city's water department to save money. A full freeze means you have absolutely no water running anywhere through your home.

For more tips and information behind frozen pipes, visit the city's water department page by following this link:

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