How to prevent pipes from freezing during Aspen’s natural gas outage
Bishop Plumbing offers some tips
Plumbing experts were busy Monday fielding calls from Aspen residents who are concerned about freezing pipes due to the widespread gas outage, and lack of heat and hot water throughout town.
They also offered some tips on how to prevent pipes from freezing.
Keith Richel, operations manager for Bishop Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, said on Monday afternoon that people should let water slowly drip from their fixtures and faucets — both hot and cold settings — to allow liquid to continue flowing and not freeze.
He also suggested:
• That a space heater be placed inside the mechanical room of any building, or home.
• Open cabinet doors and drawers where pipes may be located to allow whatever heat there is inside the home to flow through.
• Make sure garage doors are shut to prevent cold air from entering the home.
• Locate the main shut-off valve for the water pipes, usually in the mechanical room or a crawl space, in case of emergency.
• Do not use propane heaters indoors because of the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning.
Pipes will freeze if the temperature drops below 32 degrees wherever they are located. Richel estimated that some homes affected in the outage area will drop down to 50 degrees inside overnight.
Tuesday night temperatures are expected to be in the single digits, which would make it a bigger challenge to keep pipes from freezing.
Black Hills Energy said it is working to restore gas to residential users by Monday night, but the outage, which affects 3,500 natural gas meters, could last into Tuesday or beyond.
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The steep Jail Trail that leads into downtown Aspen is getting a better grade to address safety concerns and make it easier for people to use.