Protect your pipes from freezing for less than calling a plumber - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Protect your pipes from freezing for less than calling a plumber

By Gordon Boyd
Eyewitness News Reporter

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Allen Williams may be a 'Bama fan, but he's heard enough stories about fallen ceilings and saturated carpeting, to know that a burst water pipe is one tide he doesn't want to roll.

"We're trying to find a heater to warm up the garage," says Williams. "Something that clicks on every two hours, for about 15 minutes, so the pipes don't bust."

East Brainerd's Ace Hardware store sells a plug-in heating cable, with thermostat, that hooks right to the pipe. It sells for $26.99 plus tax.

But Ace Associate Chris Gadd can sell you virtually equal protection, for a whole lot less; foam insulation.

"They come in six-foot sections, and a variety of sizes, depending on the diameter of your pipe," Gadd says.

Williams uses it under his house.

"Pull the sticky off, stick it on, cut it to size," says Gadd.

Prices range from $1.99 to $3.29 per 6-feet section.

Most of us know to disconnect hoses from outside spigots.

Protect the spigots with a specially-designed styrofoam cup; $3.49 plus tax.

"You press a little tab down and pull," Gadd says. "It's gonna be real tight up against the house to keep the wind out."

Many folks let their faucets drip to keep them from freezing. Gadd advises opting for an insulating sock for faucets infrequently used; $7.99 - $15.99 plus tax, depending upon size.

A 'cure' is more complicated than prevention. Ace Hardware sells torches, suitable for thawing pipes already frozen; $17.99 plus tax. Gadd doesn't recommend them.

"I've got copper piping at my house," says Gadd. "And I know when it freezes, it changes sizes on you."

Full protection doesn't have to break your wallet. Eyewitness News filled its shopping cart with 3 sections of pipe insulating foam, 2 outside spigot protectors, 1 small 'faucet sock', 1 large 'faucet sock' and a heating cable. Total, with tax; $74.09. 

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