Cold-weather supplies running low

BRISTOL, Va. - Yet another blast of cold air is making its way into our area.

"I hate the cold weather; I'm not ready for another round," said Jessica Nault.

Although Jessica Nault isn't embracing the single-digit temperatures her husband Chris tells News 5 the last shot of arctic air got their attention so they are prepared for this one.

"They [Lowe's] were out of pipe insulation the last time it [the temperature] dropped a couple of weeks ago. I went to get some [here], but I had to go to the other Lowe's to get some," Chris Nault.

Lowe's Home Improvement store worker Mark Powers tells us pipe insulation and other cold-weather supplies are few and far between.

"We ran out of our heating supplies much earlier than anticipated and much earlier than our orders reflect. Normally by now we are looking towards spring," said Powers.

But spring seems to be nowhere in sight.

"We still have many customers in need of heating supplies, heat tapes, plumbing repair parts, insulation for their piping," said Powers.

Powers tells us that no matter how cold it gets they won't be getting anymore heating equipment this season.

"We have placed all of the winter orders were going to place for the year. And we are unable to get winter supplies at this point. It's too late in the season," said Powers.

Christ Nault tells us he's glad he has everything he needs to keep his family and home warm.

"My pipes have been fine. It's a good thing. I have a full basement and everything is nice and toasty. I hope it stays that way," said Christ Nault.

Not all stores are out of stock. It's a good idea to call your local home improvement store before you leave home.

We found some tips from the Johnson City Water and Sewer Services Department to help you keep your home warm during the deep freeze.

Eliminate drafts – Keep doors and windows in the basement and garage tightly closed. Close off crawl space vents and doors, and seal cracks in basement or crawl space walls.

Insulate – Insulate pipes in unheated portions of the house such as exterior walls, crawl spaces, basements, cabinets or any enclosure where air can't circulate. Be alert for damp insulation; water soaked insulation can cause a freeze-up.

Protect meter – Make sure the meter box cover is not broken, missing or ajar. These conditions allow freezing cold air to penetrate the box's insulation.

Protect outside faucets – Outside faucets and sprinkler systems should be drained. Garden hoses should be disconnected and drained. Any space between faucet and exterior wall should be caulked. Check with your plumber about frost-proof faucets.

Drain pipes if leaving town – When away from home for extended periods and heat is not left on, turn water off at cutoff and drain the lines.

Leave faucet running – When temperatures reach low teens, leave a very thin stream of water running continuously from at least one tap. It is important to note, however, that faucets left running may have an adverse effect on septic tanks. Other precautions should be taken.

Open cabinet doors – If a sink is on an outside wall, open vanity or cabinet doors to allow warm air to reach water pipes.

Thaw carefully – Never use an open flame to thaw a frozen pipe. Use hot air from a hair dryer, vacuum cleaner exhaust, heat tape or light bulb.

Locate shut-off valve – Don't wait until a water pipe is broken to find the shut-off valve.

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