North Texas Master Plumber Talks About Dealing With Brutally Cold Temperatures

A master plumber in North Texas offers tips on how to deal with piping issues due to the blistering cold temperatures.

Video Transcript

- Through this day we have been reading your emails, we've been taking your phone calls-- and we appreciate them-- about the challenges of heating and also keeping pipes from bursting during our record cold.

So as a result, our Ken Molestina talked with a master plumber today about what you might be able to do right now to protect your home. That's all new at 5:00.

KEN MOLESTINA: As it stands, folks, we're going to be dealing with these single-digit temperatures for a couple of more days right now, so many of us are probably feeling like sitting ducks. One expert I spoke to says there is a way to sit patiently and wait for all of this to thaw out.

Let's face it, folks, everyone knows--

DAVID BUTLER: In Texas, plumbing is not installed to withstand these type of temperatures. We're in the Sun Belt, so everything here is expected not to have these kind of things.

KEN MOLESTINA: But somehow, here we are, weathering a record-breaking winter storm. With it comes many concerns for North Texans not quite sure what to do with frozen pipes or home heaters that aren't heating. David Butler from Milestone is a master plumber.

DAVID BUTLER: The best thing to do is turn the water off if it's frozen already. That way if it does come back on and there has been a pipe burst-- which there may not have been. If we're lucky, maybe it didn't burst and it just froze. But if it did burst, it could flood the house when they turn it back on.

KEN MOLESTINA: If your water is flowing--

DAVID BUTLER: Go ahead and leave those pipes trickling. And not just a drip, it literally needs to have a steady stream of water coming out of it, both hot and cold, not just the cold water.

KEN MOLESTINA: Then come the concerns over heat.

What's the situation with gas, and why does that fluctuate?

DAVID BUTLER: Well, probably the biggest situation with gas right now is supply and demand. Everybody's having to run their heaters. And I know if it's like mine, if you've been in your house you've probably heard it not go off hardly at. All And everything's running full force. The power plants use natural gas, all the homes use natural gas-- or, majority of them. Everything. So it's at a maximum demand.

KEN MOLESTINA: So your best bet is the following.

DAVID BUTLER: Keep the heat about 68 degrees, but don't turn it off, don't do anything to it. It's going to keep running.

KEN MOLESTINA: Butler also suggests keeping windows covered with blinds and curtains to keep the heat in.

Here's what you should never do.

DAVID BUTLER: Turning on your oven or your cooktop and those sort things is not the way to do it because that's-- that's a dangerous way. It can cause fires, someone could get burned. Lots of different things can go wrong with turning on ovens and cook tops.

KEN MOLESTINA: I've spoken to several HVAC technicians who say that frozen pipes and low gas inside of your home is not necessarily an emergency. So we're all just going to have to practice a little patience and hang tight.

In Dallas, Ken Molestina, CBS11 News.