Frozen Pipes Don't Have To Leave You In The Cold (VIDEO)

By Jeff Neumeyer

January 7, 2014 Updated Jan 7, 2014 at 7:04 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21ALIVE) --- The sub-zero temperatures of the past couple of days are forcing homeowners to deal with the misery of frozen water pipes.

There are headaches that come along with the bitter cold, but there are also things you can do to keep the problems at bay.

Tuesday, in the 2500 block of Genessee Avenue in Fort Wayne, you could find a perfect example of how bone chilling cold and water pipes don't mix.

Kirk Fitzgerald with Masters Heating & Cooling was summoned to get things flowing again in the pipes delivering cold water to Kenneth Howald’s kitchen sink.

Arctic air blowing in to the crawl space did a number on the exposed pipe.

The problem got noticed Monday evening.

" I was afraid that this thing was going to freeze and break and I was going to have all kinds of problems under here and that's what bothered me more than anything," said Kenneth Howald, who pointed under the sink area.

But a few minutes after Fitzgerald climbed in the crawl space and went at the pipe with a heat gun, the water began to trickle out, and the thawed pipe didn't burst.

Among the ways to avoid trouble, you can leave doors open under a sink so warm air can get in, and let a small stream of water run in the faucet.

" Water flow is going to prevent it from freezing up, but, you know, it's usually not 40 below wind chill either," said Fitzgerald.

Besides frozen pipes, repair crews are dealing with furnace problems that have to do with the fact there is so much snow on the ground.

Dennis Parda with Masters says PCV furnace pipes attached to the side of your home, which serve as vents, can get clogged in the deep snow, causing your furnace to falter.

Parda says homeowners can put their hands in and clean out the wet stuff themselves, to avoid a costly service call.

" We've been able to tell a lot of people just what to do, and got the call back saying it worked and we were on to somebody else who had a more serious problem," Parda said.

He claims it’s perfectly safe to reach in to the pipes, because the temperature is not real hot, even for the vent leading from the furnace.

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