Bursting pipes due to cold temps giving plumbers more work this week

SAWS says leaving faucets to drip may prevent freezing

By Patty Santos - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - This week’s bitter cold is freezing out garden irrigation systems for some homeowners, with many plumbing companies reporting higher than usual calls for breaks and leaks.  

Jim Shafer’s plumbing business has had nearly two dozen more calls for service this week.

“They call up and say, ‘I don’t have any water,’” Shafer said.

Frozen water lines, leaky sprinkler systems and even overworked water heater are the top problems for homeowners.

“The water going into them is a little bit colder than normal, and people are taking a lot of hot showers,” Shafer said.

Outdoor faucets and sprinkler systems can be easily protected from freezing with insulation you may already have around your house, such as newspaper, socks or towels.

People can find foam insulation at hardware stores for just a few dollars and install it themselves. Fixing frozen pipes will cost a lot more than preventing them in the first place.

Simple tricks, such as leaving cabinet doors under the sink open to let warm air into the pipes, may save them.

The San Antonio Water System took in about 40 calls Monday morning from homeowners with pipe problems.

SAWS said leaving the faucets dripping small amounts of water to keep the water flowing may also prevent freezing. People will not be able to credit their account for the extra water use.

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