Fluctuating temperatures could spell trouble for pipe systems

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Between the ice storm and the below freezing temps that have hung around Region 8 this past week, there is a lot of ice still in the area. Some of that ice could be inside pipes, incurring SERIOUS damage that could cost you a lot of money.

Ice and pipes do not mix. A Region 8 viewer sent us photos of the Jonesboro Fire Department responding to an apartment complex after pipes busted and set off the sprinkler system and the fire alarms. That wasn't the first time JFD has responded to this type of incident.

"Most of it is like your industrial complexes where you have the massive sprinkler systems and gets cold enough that they'll freeze occasionally," Battalion Chief with JFD, Marty Hamrick told Region 8 News "If we respond, it's because the sprinkler system has activated and that sets off the alarm and when we get there we find out the cause is a busted pipe."

Hamrick said it's when things start to warm up, like the seven day forecast anticipates, that the problems will present themselves as the pipes usually bust after they become frozen but don't create the problem til they thaw out. Hamrick said by then, it's too late.

"Their sprinkler systems should be up and running like normal but the biggest thing is to just keep the heat and that'll keep the problems away," Hamrick said.

Pipes in homes can create similar problems and cost a homeowner thousands. Hamrick said preparation is key.

"If you're living on a concrete slab, leave some water running. That'll help out a lot. If we've still got power, that's gonna be great because you can keep your heat running and that'll do good. Outside pipes, make sure they're covered up," he said.

He adds if you have a crawl space, make sure you close the vents to keep cold air from getting under your house and hitting those pipes.

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