CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — Water lines and pipes are bursting all over the state of West Virginia. 12 News has some tips on how to prevent and handle a situation in which your water line may burst.
The Valley Volunteer Fire Department wrote in a Facebook post on Dec. 27, that they had responded to five water line bursts since Christmas Eve. They responded and took control of the situations at the following places:
- Fairmont Manchin Clinic
- White Hall Little General
- Residence on Millersville Avenue
- Pleasant Valley Road
- White Hall Grand China Buffet and Hot Spot
Zac Eakle, Valley Volunteer firefighter and public information officer discussed the Grand China Buffet’s main water line break and how they got to the valve with a 12 News reporter. He had said that the top valve cover to the shut-off was frozen over with about three inches of ice. The volunteer fire department had to use its tools to remove the ice in order to remove the lid and shut off the water. When it came to other water line breaks.
“We go in if we can, we shut the water off for them, assess the problem, give them proper resources to fix the problem and go back to the station,” Eakle said.
According to State Farm, if your water pipes have already burst, turn off the main shut-off valve in the house but leave your faucets running. If your pipes are just frozen, you can thaw them by leaving the faucet on and using a hair dryer, with caution, to warm the pipe as close to the faucet as possible. You should then slowly work your way toward the coldest section of the pipe. It is advised not to apply flames for this can cause a fire hazard.
Eakle was asked what he recommends people do to prevent their pipes from freezing in frigid temperatures.
“We recommend insulating pipes if you can,” Eakle said. “Uh, we’ve experienced folks with their hose bib for their garden hose outside, that actual bib or faucet wasn’t insulated and that got frozen, and then right inside the wall, that water line busted there. So if you can, they make an insulator you can put over the top of that, or insulate your inside water pipes.”
Eakle added that insulation could be bought at any Ace Hardware store, and all you have to do is wrap it around the exposed pipes.
Other ways to prevent your pipes from freezing include:
- Letting your faucet drip overnight
- Opening cabinet doors to allow heat to get to the uninsulated pipes under sinks and on exterior walls
- Keeping your house heated to above at least 55 degrees
West Virginia Fitness 24 in Clarksburg also had multiple pipes burst in its pool pump area over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Nolan Tucci, WV Fitness general manager, told 12 News that they thought they did everything to prepare for the frigid temperatures as best as they could.
“Friday, the day before Christmas Eve, we put space heaters back – back there,” Tucci said. “We had some water running. One thing, I think it was just, it was just so cold back where it was, and there were some vents that weren’t closed. So, we are definitely going to be better prepared for it next time.”
Tucci mentioned that the gym was open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but was not staffed. The water line break was found when the owner checked on the gym during the early morning of Christmas Eve. The maintenance man was called and instantly came to the rescue. However, a different set of lines broke the next day. The general manager said that they hope to stay prepared by sealing off more spots during the cold weather. This story just goes to show that even if you feel that you are prepared, mother nature can always give us something new to learn.
The water line breaks at WV Fitness 24 and the Salem Center have been fixed, and the organizations are back up and running. Whereas, the Preston County Sheriff’s Office was closed on Dec. 27 due to a water line break and will update residents here when the office is reopened.
If you have a broken water line or pipe and cannot seem to figure out how to handle the situation, it does not hurt to call a local plumber or fire department to come and help you out.