Saving your pipes in this frigid, wicked winter

(WEAU) - Now that we’re in the dead of winter, we've had our swing of freezing temperatures over the weekend.

But, there may be even colder temperatures on the way and that means that your pipes at home could be at risk.

Pipes are like a maze going through your home. They twist and turn in every direction,but if you're not careful this copper maze can explode.

"You have to keep heat in your house for that not to happen," said Trevor Small, Kelly Heating & Electric Plumber.

Trevor Small with Kelly Heating & Electric says he's had one home in Altoona have their pipes burst.

"They were gone for two weeks and their water heater froze solid. All their toilets’ were frozen solid. There were ice in all the lines and when they finally thawed it, we found break everywhere and we've been repairing them," said Small.

He says checking the furnace is the place to start, because its looking at the source of what a could be problem.

Trevor says the reason pipes may burst in your home is because when water sits inside, it can often expand in cold weather. For example, if a can of soda sits in the freezer too long it will eventually explode because the soda has nowhere to go but out.

"If there's enough water in your fixtures like your traps, it can also break those pipes too. [Even] your drainage pipes because of the expansion of the water,” said Small.

Meanwhile, one local homeowner who just had his water heater replaced says he's lived in his house 40 years and has never had his pipes burst. But, he does a few tricks around his home to prevent it.

"Where water lines are under your kitchen sink, you can open up the door to them and leave the door open. Let the heat from the room help to keep that area a little bit warmer," said homeowner, Tom Hebert.

Even leaving a pencil thin stream of water can avoid an episode.

"It depends on how long you’re going to be gone. You may have some neighbors that may want to come and check,” said Hebert.

The benefit of preventing an incident of your pipes exploding can outweigh the cost of leaving water running while you’re on vacation.

The homeowners who had their pipes burst are looking at thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.

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