Freezing temps mean icy problems for foothill residents

Pipe business inundated with calls for repairs
By: Jenifer Gee Journal Staff Writer
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A couple of towels were able to temporarily spare Paul Brentson’s pipes But the Applegate resident decided Wednesday he wasn’t going to take any more chances as freezing temperatures continued to ice in much of the foothills. A Sunday evening storm followed by freeze warnings Monday and Tuesday nights left many residents with exposed plumbing finding they needed repairs for frozen or broken pipes. Since Monday, supply stores such as Auburn’s Anderson’s Sierra Pipe Co. were inundated with calls to fix broken pipes and assist homeowners in their Auburn store stocking up on pipe insulation. “Our service department runs four trucks and they’ve been swamped,” said manager John Anderson. “They’ve worked 12- to 14-hour days the last two days.” Anderson said the service calls have ranged from frozen and broken pipes to wells not producing as much water pressure as they typically do. Applegate resident Paul Brentson was purchasing pipe insulation Wednesday. He said he and his wife were able to get by during two nights of freeze warnings and 10 inches of snow by wrapping towels on their pipes to keep them warm enough. But he said after a close call with weak shower water, the couple agreed the towels wouldn’t work forever. “We decided we better get the real deal,” Brentson said. Paul Fejes with Weimar Water Company said he’s spent the past two days fixing busted pipes. He said one job took about four hours while he worked in close to knee-deep snow. Fejes said an important tip homeowners should keep in mind is to leave at least one faucet on so it’s trickling water. A little water is running through pipes should ward off freeze problems, Fejes said. “If (water) is running, it will save you a lot of trouble, money and time,” Fejes said. Jenifer Gee can be reached at ---------- Keep your pipes intact When you notice a frost settling, John Anderson, manager of Anderson’s Sierra Pipe Co. in Auburn recommends that homeowners turn on a faucet in their home. “You want a steady drip just enough to keep your pipes from freezing,” Anderson said. Pipe insulation is also a big help in keeping exposed metal protected from the elements. Also, don’t turn off your water unless a pipe breaks. Keep it flowing with water dripping from a faucet. ----------