flushing money
Frozen plumbing problems can be expensive. fran hogan

After 50 years in business, you might expect Dwayne Boggan of Boggan Plumbing Service to be in go mode right now, racing around Little Rock to rescue customers from frozen pipe disasters.

Nope. Unless you’ve been a customer for multiple decades and are on a first-name basis, he’s not budging. You’ll find him at home, sipping coffee, watching YouTube and waiting for the roads to clear. Maybe by Friday he’ll venture out, maybe not.

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“I’m not putting a truck on these nasty streets,” he said.

His phone is ringing a lot, and Boggan said he’s doing his best to talk customers through homemade temporary fixes to hold them until the roads clear.

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With a foot of snow on the ground already, it’s too late to insulate pipes or make any other wholesale structural changes to prevent winter weather plumbing disasters. But Boggan said there are some other things you can do to keep pipes intact and water flowing in and out.

  1. Cover vents and holes to crawlspaces to keep wind and snow out.
  2. Disconnect garden hoses and protect outdoor faucets with foam covers. “You can use rags, but foam covers work a lot better,” Boggan said.
  3. Forget everything you know about leaving your faucets dripping. You’re wrong. Drips aren’t enough. “I don’t know why that ever got started. You should leave it running a little bit,” Boggan said. Aim for a stream of water the width of the lead in a pencil. And don’t worry that you’re wasting too much water. “The water bill is cheap compared to the plumber coming over.”
  4. Open all the cabinet doors underneath kitchen and bathroom sinks.
  5. Sewer pipes can freeze, and there’s not a whole lot you can do about that. “I don’t know what to tell you. Go in there and flush every now and again,” Boggan advised.

Doing these five things is absolutely worth the hassle, although Boggan doesn’t make any promises.

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“After all these precautions and everything you do, Mother Nature still has the upper hand on you,” he said. “You can only do so much.”