Reports of broken pipes caused by freezing weather

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With temperatures in the low teens and below, burst pipes are a danger.

North Carolina has seen some of the lowest temperatures we've seen in years - dropping our temperatures into the single digits.

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On Monday, the Fayetteville Fire and Emergency Management Department responded to 25 calls for service due to frozen fire sprinkler and plumbing pipes that had burst in apartment complexes, condominiums, a group home, a medical office, and a nursing facility.

The recent sub-freezing temperatures caused exposed fire protection and plumbing piping to freeze and burst. As temperatures climbed over freezing, the ice within the burst pipes began to thaw, and the resulting flow of water caused damage to property.

Plumbers say they expect to be busy.

Experts say when the outside temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, water pipes in homes with little or no insulation are likely to freeze and break.

Even a small leak caused by freezing can cause extensive damage. A one-eighth inch crack in a pipe can spew out more than 250 gallons of water a day, destroying floors, soaking furniture, and ruining personal items. Cleaning up after a pipe burst is time consuming and smelly work, made even more difficult by the frigid temperatures.

Watch: Water line break closed library in Hope Mills
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The library will be closed for at least a day



Here are some tips to prevent freezing and save yourself costly repair bills. The old trick of leaving faucets on a slight drip really works. Having a faucet slightly open can relieve the pressure in a pipe that builds up when it freezes - preventing it from rupturing.

Dripping both hot and cold taps is important, as hot water lines are sometimes more vulnerable to breakage.

Homeowners should make sure that all outside hoses are disconnected from the hose bibs, and open up cabinets inside their homes to allow warm air to reach the waterlines.

If your home has a crawl space underneath, then make sure you close the dampers on your vents to keep in the warm air.

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