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Local businessman shares tips on preserving pipes | Home & Garden

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Local businessman shares tips on preserving pipes

Plumbing biz owner says extreme cold puts pipes in danger    

A lot of people don't prepare for the cold weather, and hundreds wind up with flooded basements in the spring, according to a local business owner specializing in the trade.

Curt Johnson --owner of Action Plumbing, Heating, Air and Electric in Sun Prairie -- said a few easy steps of preparation can protect plumbing systems from frigid weather.

Johnson said most people put their garden hoses away for the winter, but many don't shut off the separate valve in their basement. He suggested turning off that valve, then allowing any leftover water to drain from the outside spigot.

If that water were to sit and freeze in the pipe, the pipe could burst and flood a basement when spring weather thaws it, Johnson said.

"When it's really super cold and the wind's blowing, it makes it worse," he said. "When the wind blows it can get up through cracks and freeze things. The wind is probably the biggest thing when it gets cold."

Johnson's also suggests residents:

  • Shut off the main water valve when leaving home on a long weekend vacation
  • Turn water on to a slow trickle if you're worried about a particular pipe freezing
  • Open cabinets to allow warm air into the space, warming pipes that sit near outside walls
  • Replace the furnace filter regularly
  • Make sure the furnace intake pipes are clear of snow and debris outside
  • Keep the garage door shut unless it's in use

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