Today is our 2nd day in a row that is forecast to be near zero for a high in Colorado Springs. It dropped to nearly 15 below yesterday, and it just hit zero today. This morning we woke up to a frozen pipe in our kitchen, and our office reported the 2nd day in a row that one of the bathroom’s plumbing was frozen. I can’t remember a year when as many of these sorts of things have happened. While it is not unheard of, it is not common either.
Some parts of the country get a lot of this kind of weather, but in fact, we really don’t. Not that we don’t get at least a few days where it dips below zero overnight throughout the winter, but seldom does it ever stay that cold, and since it usually starts out warmer, we don’t see these kinds of frozen pipe events that often. Temporary clogging in a pipe from some slush forming is about as bad as it normally gets, unless of course the heat is completely off in a vacant home and it hasn’t been winterized.
There are of course, a few tricks to keep it from happening if you have an area in your house that is susceptible (like ours). Keeping a trickle of water running when it is going to be very cold is the best one that I know of (I forgot about it last night!), followed by wrapping the vulnerable pipe in heat tape. Our kitchen faucet is in a cantilevered section of the house, and it tends to get cold air trapped around the pipe that is difficult to protect against. I’m a little worried about this time, because it is SO cold, and has remained so cold, pipes can burst from the expansion of the ice in them. This happened to a client of mine who was away on a trip when it happened, and did SERIOUS damage to their home. When sub zero weather is in the forecast and you aren’t going to be home, it is best to at least shut off the water, so that IF something happens, it won’t spew water for days while you are gone.
I’m looking forward to this weather leaving. We should be back above freezing by tomorrow, and back in the upper 40’s the day after. Since it was in the 60’s last weekend, the 70 degree swing in temperature was a little much!
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