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Frigid Temperatures Profiting Plumbers

A frozen pipe. Photo by Ivan Lian via Flickr
A frozen pipe. Photo by Ivan Lian via Flickr

Jim Haberek has some advice for you: know where to find the main shut-off valve for your water supply, and make sure it works. If your pipes burst, it might take him a while to come rescue you.

"A lot of emergency work right now," he said.

Plumbers like Haberek are bustling, as more of Northeast Ohio’s pipes fight a losing battle with the record-setting cold.

Haberek’s the state president of the Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Contractors Association. He says this time of year can be pretty slow, if the weather’s mild.
But business now is double the norm. Haberek says some are experiencing a first-time freeze.

"They might have lived in the house 30 years, but it’s been so brutally cold for such a long time that’s there’s spots there that are getting cold and freezing up on ’em," he said.

Frozen pipes expand, and that can make them leak or burst. If the supply isn’t shut off when the water starts flowing again, that can lead to flooding.

To prevent or thaw out frozen pipes, Habarek recommends letting warm air circulate near them. Opening the cabinets under your kitchen sink can help. So can hair driers and space heaters.

If that doesn’t work, you can always give him a call.