Frozen pipes wreak havoc for homeowners, businesses

Posted February 20, 2015

— With temperatures dipping into the teens and single digits this week, frozen pipes are causing headaches for homeowners and businesses.

On Friday, Town of Cary crews responded to more than 60 calls from people without water. In Raleigh, there were more than 100 complaints. 

At North Carolina State University, there was a water main break early Friday morning near the Physical Plant.

If a pipe is frozen on the utility's side of the meter, then the city or town is required to fix it. The area from the meter to the building is considered private property, meaning the homeowner or business needs to call a plumber. 

"We've seen quite a bit where you can leave your faucet dripping ad that does help overnight. Leave both warm and cold water just dripping a little bit," Cary Public Utilities Director Scott Hecht said. 

Hecht also suggested leaving the cabinets open under the kitchen sink to help keep the pipes down there warm. 

More tips to avoid frozen pipes

When a pipe is frozen, town workers remove the meter, put it in a truck for a few minutes to melt the ice, then put it back. 

As the weather warms up and frozen pipes begin to thaw, there is a chance that pipes will burst under the pressure. Utility crews and plumbers said they are preparing for that scenario this weekend, when temperatures are expected to rise above freezing.

1 Comment

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  • Judy Fergerson Feb 20, 2015
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    other than leaving the hot and cold water dripping one could put a light in their pump house and under their house where water pipes enter the home. (of course this is how we country folks do it in the rural areas) we also leave the cabinet doors open to keep the pipes inside warm. I do feel sorry for those who have frozen water problems and hope we never have to deal with the costs involved in the repairs of frozen pipes.