How to avoid pipe bursts during the cold spell

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Frozen pipes can cause thousands in damage and can happen in less than an hour.

Plumbers and the Madison Water Utility are already responding to the bursts, and with temperatures dropping, they expect the number of calls to increase.

"A lot of people - they may notice no water somewhere, but they don't really call until it's a little too late,” said Andrew Uttech, general manager at Action Plumbing. “The minute you see you don’t not have water out of fixtures is the minute to call, even though you're not having any leakage."

Uttech said frozen pipes will be his businesses number one call through the extreme cold.

"It's not really the 'I have no water coming out.' It's going to be 'It has physically burst now and water is coming out everywhere,'" said Uttech.

Uttech added in the extreme cold all homes are at risk for frozen pipes.

Uttech said to make sure there's no draft or cold air near your pipes, and remember to run your water, as moving water is less likely to freeze.

Madison Water Utility said it does expects water main breaks. However, the snow the Madison area just got is going to act as an insulator and keep the ground warm, hopefully limiting the number of underground breaks.

NBC15 has reported the importance of furnace maintenance: one of the quickest ways for your pipes to freeze is if you don't have a furnace to keep your house warm.

Lastly, if your pipes do burst, find your home's water valve and turn it off.