Texas residents struggle to save pipes and water

Over the past week, many Texas residents have struggled to keep their pipes from freezing. Central Texas farmers have been fortunate enough to avoid the freeze in most places, but some were not so fortunate. There were over 1,000 phone calls placed to the Austin Fire Department, and about 600 phone calls to the Austin Water Utility. Many workers were forced to work 12-hour shifts over the weekend to repair the broken water lines.
Although many areas throughout the United States experience below-freezing temperatures, there are many solutions to prevent pipes from bursting. For example, homeowners or maintenance personnel can easily wrap pipe with pipe insulation, or heat tape to prevent freezing.
Pipe insulation is one of the easiest and most cost-effective methods of preventing pipes from freezing. This solution works for both indoor as well as outdoor plumbing. Since the insulation can be left on year-round, it requires almost no maintenance once installed. The only recommended maintenance is to inspect the insulation to make sure it has not been pulled off of the pipes. This can be found at almost any hardware store. Here is an example: http://bit.ly/79b8M4
Other methods such as wrapping pipe with heat tape are also very effective. Heat tape, however, requires a small electrical current to heat and thus can cause problems if wet. This can also cause liability risks, so it should only be installed by qualified electricians. This should only be installed if it complies with all codes in your area. Here is an example of heat tape: http://bit.ly/8vx2mv
Brian O’Neill


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