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Lower temps could mean burst pipes

Updated: Thursday, January 2 2014, 06:26 PM CST
Reported by: Christina Butler

YORK -- A winter storm can quickly turn into a $15,000 expense if your pipes burst.

“Water has an incredible amount of strength when it freezes first and when the pipe burst – crack! -- it'll just crack right open because the pressure because of the pressure creates,” Nathan Pierce, field manager with Pronto Plumbing in Harrisburg, said. 

Pierce said any time the temperature dips below 20 degrees, your home is at risk.

New or old, all homes can be subject to it. His advice is to  make sure you know where your water shut off valve is and make sure it's usable.

“I was more worried about are those with the older gate valve. This type of valve can actually freeze place and be very difficult to turn,” he said.

He advises homeowners  disconnect exterior hoses and leave cabinet doors open to allow lower pipes to get heat. Also, make a quick run to the hardware store for cheap insulation.

“This product right here is just a split foam insulation it can easily be wrapped around pipes in and adhered in place,” he said.

While you prepare your home PennDOT is working on plans to keep the roads clear.

“We have roads listed in order of priority. Obviously the most traveled like 83 and 81 in our area, they get a lot of traffic. Our priorities are going to be those roads; after that everybody gets treated it's just how quickly it gets treated,” Fritzi Schreffler, spokesperson with PennDOT, said.

Each plow truck driver may be assigned to a 40-mile route, meaning that logistically they can’t hit the same spot more than twice an hour.

PennDOT is staffed 24/7 through the storm, and even when the snow stops, they’ll still be going.

“We're more concerned about Friday morning with blowing and drifting and visibility issues,” Schreffler said.
Lower temps could mean burst pipes

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