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Frigid Temperatures Threaten Pipes

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MEDFORD, Ore. — With frigid temperatures settling in and ice forming on windshields overnight, garden hoses may out of sight and out of mind for homeowners. Something as simple as unscrewing the hose from the faucet during the winter could mean the difference in hundreds of dollars of plumbing repairs.

Garden hoses are one of the three most common culprits for pipes to freeze and break with the other two are irrigation systems and exposed hose bibs. Plumbers say pipes are at their biggest risk when it gets below 30 degrees and stays that way for a few days. Also seeing an increased risk are pipes and outdoor faucets on the north side of the house which typically sees problems due to little sunlight.

Plumbers recommend putting an old pillow inside a plastic bag and placing it inside the irrigation box to help prevent sprinklers from freezing and breaking. A simple Styrofoam cup from a hardware store can solve the problem for other exposed facets around the house — but one of the most common and most preventable problems comes back to garden hoses.

“What happens when you go in the spring and turnĀ  the water on, the water sprays inside the wall above the floor, so you flood the inside of your house, you get mold in the walls and you have a big problem, so it’s very important to remove the hoses,” said Bob Sousa from Accurate Plumbing Solutions

During the last bad freeze, accurate plumbing had over 100 phone calls from burst pipes.