REDDING, Calif. - Freezing overnight temperatures are causing concern for homeowners and keeping plumbers busy.
Patrick Wallner, president of Wallner Plumbing, says his crew has been busy during the cold weather weekend, getting called out to about 20 jobs specifically for busted pipes.
"This caused the customer thousands of dollars in repairs in sheetrock and carpets, just that little freeze break," explains Wallner.
So what can be done to stop further damage if your pipes burst? Wallner explains the second you notice the water flow from your facets and fixtures has stopped, immediately shut off the water valve to your entire home.
A small sliver of a crack in a pipe, less than an inch wide, can cause about a gallon of water to spew out every three to five minutes. Wallner says that makes every second very valuable when it comes to saving your home from water damage.
"We had homes that the sheetrock had to be completely taken off the walls, and we saw one home that actually had two inches of ice on the concrete, from where it had frozen over. So, if you don't have water in the morning, it's really important to shut that off," says Wallner.
He also explains to be proactive when temperatures dip for several days. Wallner recommends using towels, insulation or buying heat tape from an area hardware store.
When it comes to safely thawing your frozen pipes, Wallner says never, under any circumstance, use a blow torch. Instead, use a hairdryer if you must. But Wallner says to be sure there are no chances of water interfering with the electric hairdryer in your hand.