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'Turn off your water': Experts share pipe protection tips as temperatures drop

Posted at 3:53 PM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-15 21:16:44-05

BRYAN, TX — Residents across the Brazos Valley are experiencing power outages….and frozen pipes, as this once in a generation weather event is far from over.

“We’re seeing a lot of frozen pipes. A lot of people are waking up today, they have no water in certain parts of their homes, they no water in their entire homes, a lot of people are having no hot water," said Brad Gause, Owner of JBG Plumbing in College Station.

With over 300 calls from 4 A.M.-12 P.M. Monday, JBG Plumbing telling customers who are without water, to turn off their water completely, in an effort to avoid further damage once temperatures start to warm in the coming days.

“The biggest thing I can say, is they need to turn their water off and wait for it to thaw out. There is really nothing we can do if you have no water in the whole house because the pipes are frozen, but by turning the water off, you are preventing it from flooding if it is broken, once the water does thaw out,” shared Gause.

Frozen pipes can cause extensive damage, an eighth-inch crack can spill more than 250 gallons of water a day and cost a homeowner a pretty penny to repair.

“The average frozen pipe claim in Texas last year was $10,300 and just State Farm alone, we’ve paid $769,000 on those claims,” says Chris Pilcic, spokesman for State Farm Insurance.

Texas last year had the 14th most claims filed to State Farm for frozen pipes across the country. Insurance companies suggest, starting a claim sooner, rather than later.

“You want to start that claims process as soon as you can, and as soon as you know you’ve sustained damage. This can be a really costly problem,” said Pilcic.

However, if your pipes have not yet frozen... you are not out of the clear, just yet.

“I would suggest opening the cabinets doors, we’ve been telling people to let your faucets trickle, not drip. That little bit of extra water bill this month is not going to nearly as bad as a restoration or repair is going to cost,” said Gause.

“And if you can add any insulation to pipes, blankets, or foam or some insulation tape, that will be helpful,” said Pilcic.

JBG Plumbing says, they have all hands on deck to respond to as many calls as possible, but encourage anyone who is experience frozen pipes to shut off their water source, immediately.