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Icy temps freeze pipes, cause problems for homeowners

By Lauren Maxwell 8:03 PM December 18, 2013

Plumbers are so busy some are booking appointments a week out

ANCHORAGE - Frigid temperatures in Anchorage have left many homeowners in the cold.

They’re the ones with frozen pipes and no heat. Local plumbers can’t get to them fast enough.

Some plumbing and heating companies are working around the clock. Many are booking appointments a week out. Plumber TJ Embley with Circle Plumbing and Heating said it’s a big problem this time of year.

Fortunately, he said, there are some things homeowners can do to try and prevent frozen pipes.

Homes with baseboard heating are most likely to have pipes freeze. Homeowners should do everything they can to make sure cold air isn’t entering their homes, Embley said, because it can pool on the floor and freeze the pipes in baseboard heaters. He recommends checking seals in doors and windows and never leaving a window open when temperatures are low.

Another tip is to leave the cabinet door beneath the sink open so that warm air can get in and circulate. Homeowners who know they have a problem may want to turn on the faucet as well. A trickle of water can keep ice crystals from forming in the pipes, Embley said.

Homeowners who do have a problem should do their best to deal with it quickly. A frozen pipe can be thawed for a couple hundred dollars, but a pipe that burst could cost much more, depending on the damage to the home.

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