Protect your pipes as temperatures plummet

KINGSPORT, Tenn. - As another round of brutally cold temperatures arrives to our area, plumbers are just getting caught up after replacing pipes that burst the last time we were in single digits temperatures.

We're told you still have time to protect your homes and water lines from problems caused by the extreme cold. Cover up any open vents in your crawl spaces, insulate your water meter, and detach your hose from the outdoor spigot.

There's one more thing you can do to keep pipes from bursting -- Jim Albright, a plumber from Kingsport, says, "Leave the hot and cold running. The hot doesn't need to run as much as the cold. The cold you can leave a pencil-size stream, but the hot you can let it drip from every fixture to insure [pipes don't freeze]."

If you do face frozen pipes problems this winter, we wanted to know how it would affect your home owner's insurance.

We talked with an insurance agent in our area, who told us sometimes it may not be worth filing a claim, depending on the amount of damage.

Nathan Vaughn, a State Farm Insurance Agent in Kingsport, tells us you should look at how much the repair is going to cost and try to determine if the claim would increase the insurance premium.

Vaughn echoes the advice given by most experts, saying the best thing to do is to protect yourself by winterizing your pipes.

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