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Andrew Etchen's

Michigan Plumbing Blog


First frozen pipe burst of the season

Hello, my name is Andrew Etchen.  I am a master plumber and the owner of Andrew Etchen Plumber's Service, Inc. located in Livonia, Michigan since 2001.  

Freezing temperatures can cause significant damage to water piping and fixtures.  Over the years we find that there are two common situations that result in freeze damage.  First, is where a building or home with recently added or installed plumbing in walls or ceilings. Completed remodeling projects or alterations installed without adequate protection against freezing are disasters waiting to happen.  If this applies to you, you should worry, or at least be highly concerned and aware that prolonged freezing temperatures could cause those new pipes to freeze and burst, causing significant damage.  The second situation is where a home or building is now occupied by new owners or tenants.  Not realizing that certain plumbing plumbing pipes and equipment can be exposed to freezing temperatures often get a quick and costly lesson.  

Everybody is busy, and people are sometimes caught off guard when the freezing temperatures arrive.  Recently, we were called out to a school in Southfield, Michigan where the backflow preventer for the lawn sprinklers had frozen and burst.  This device is typically installed outside and needs to be winterized in the fall.   Blowing out the lawn sprinklers had not been scheduled yet, and then the temperature, unexpectedly dropped way below freezing for several days, causing the device to freeze and burst.  They were unaware of the situation until warmer temperatures began to thaw the frozen pressure vacuum breaker and water was spraying everywhere.  

Pictured is a freeze damaged, 2" Febco model # 765, pressure vacuum breaker assembly.  We replaced the destroyed device with a new Wilkins model # 720 (stock photo).



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