Winter weather often means frozen pipes and thanks to the recent polar vortex, thousands of people across the country are without water because their pipes are frozen. Meteorologists warned of a huge winter storm, but many people did not have time to prepare for it and failed to take the necessary precautions to prevent their pipes from freezing.
Utility crews are trying hard to get electric restored and many people are struggling to unthaw frozen pipes and deal with pipes that have busted. Many plumbing services are overwhelmed with all the calls they have gotten from customers begging to have their water pipes repaired so they will have water to shower and cook with.
With temperatures at record lows, water pipes don't stand a chance. Many people will leave their faucets drip on cold nights and days, hoping that the constant flow of the water will prevent it from freezing in the pipes. On some occasions, this may work but with temperature as low as 26 degrees below zero, this may not be enough to save your pipes.
If you think your pipes may be frozen you can always try to unthaw them yourself with a hairdryer. You can also turn up the heat in rooms that have exposed pipes and leave your cabinet doors open to ensure that indoor pipes stay warm. Outdoor pipes should be wrapped in insulation to protect them from the cold. Pipes that have busted will need to be replaced, usually by a professional.
Winter is not over yet and although temperatures have risen slightly in many areas of the country, it is not unlikely that we will experience several more cold spells before spring. If you are dealing with frozen or busted pipes now, make sure you are protecting them once they are fixed. If you are one of the lucky few who are not dealing with pipe problems, count your blessings, appreciate that long hot shower and help out those who do not have water or electric.
Image via Wikimedia Commons.