How to keep your pipes from freezing during Michigan’s cold winter

How to keep your pipes from freezing during Michigan’s cold winter
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 10:32 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Temperatures are dropping and it’s expected to get more frigid from here.

Anytime temperatures drop this low, it makes for a busy time for plumbing companies as pipes freeze, burst and create messes.

Related: Experts offer safety tips to prepare for the cold

There are several things Michiganders can do to avoid having to call a plumber. Some incidents happen in certain homes more often than others and it’s not just your pipes you should keep an eye on.

“When it gets down below 10 degrees -- like we’re going to get tonight -- that really makes it freeze,” said Rick Ledermann, with Roto Rooter Plumbing and Drain Service.

Ledermann is the general manager of Roto Rooter in Lansing. He said every year they prepare for calls about people’s pipes bursting after they freeze.

He said more than half of those calls come from prefabricated homes -- like modular and mobile homes.

“Mobile homes are more exposed. They have poor insulation around the skirting and it allows the cold air in,” Ledermann said. “The number one thing that a person in that community can do is make sure all of the skirting is properly in place around the home.”

But it’s not just bursting pipes Ledermann has to fix. An issue that plagues every type of home this time of year is water heaters.

“When we have drastic changes in the barometric pressure, it tends to make water heaters go out,” Ledermann said.

He said the only way to avoid that issue is to update the water heater.

“Water heaters have a lifespan of about 10 years,” Ledermann said. “If your water heater is 10 years old or older, it’s time to think about replacing it before you have a mess on your hands.”

Other tips to avoid frozen pipes include insulating your pipes, using heat tape, securing outdoor hoses, valves and faucets, and to let water slowly drip from a bathroom or kitchen sink.

More: News 10 First Alert Weather

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