BEND, OR -- Recent extreme weather is keeping local plumbers incredibly busy. Anita Quinn, Service Manager at Sunset Plumbing in Bend, says they've received at least 20 calls a day for frozen pipes, and she expects that number to increase when things start to thaw.
Quinn tells KBND News, "Older pipes, once they freeze, they’re going to be brittle, they’re going to thaw and as soon as they thaw, then they’re going to break." However, "Typically, on a newer home, there’s not a lot we can do on frozen pipes because they’re PEX and we cannot heat to it because it’ll melt. But, we’re doing a lot of just precautionary stuff, right now."
With cold weather expected to continue, Quinn says precautions also must continue, including, "Making sure that foundation vents are closed, that they have no hoses attached to any hose bibs on their house and keeping cupboard doors open, keeping the heat up in the home and faucets dripping." She adds, "If you have a crawl space, making sure that you’ve got some heat in there. We do not recommend putting any kind of a heater in the crawl space because that’s definitely a fire hazard. If you can open up the crawl space, just get some heat in there."
If pipes do freeze in a newer home, Quinn says it doesn't necessarily require a response from a professional. "I’ve told people ‘turn your thermostat up to its highest setting, open up all your cupboard doors and you will find that a lot of times it will thaw itself out.’" And, of course, never use an open flame to thaw pipes. She recommends using a hairdryer.