Pets, pipes and power: Tips on getting through the next round of snow
JACKSON, Tenn. — Plumbing and heating companies are swamped with customers having issues with pipes and heating systems, but they say there are a few things you can do to ease the strain on your homes.
Lanier English with McCoy’s Heating & Air says there a few things you can do to prevent frozen pipes or heating issues in your home, at least until a technician can get there.
“Keep water dripping from faucets, both hot and cold, so just turn the knobs just a little bit. It doesn’t have to be very hard, just enough to keep water flowing through the pipes,” English said.
He suggests keeping the temperature in your home in upper 60s and open cabinets to allow heat to the pipes.
If your pipes are already frozen, you can wrap your pipes to keep them insulated, but don’t use direct heat, especially on plastic piping.
“The biggest thing now is kind of a hard battle to fight once it’s already taken place, so all we can do now is try to thaw them out the best we can,” English said.
And don’t forget, this bitter cold is also hard on your pets.
Whitney Owen with the Jackson Animal Care Center says your pets are at-risk of frostbite after just a few minutes.
Even when you take them outside, keep a close eye on them.
“Ten or 15 minutes long to use the bathroom and come back inside is all they really need to be out. I answered a call this morning for a 2-week-year-old puppy that had been out for almost three hours. That puppy could have died,” Owen said.
Aaron Melda with the Tennessee Valley Authority expects the state to hit a 28,000 megawatt peak this weekend. He says they are prepared to keep the lights on for Tennesseans.
“We have 36,000 megawatts of capacity. You always have to have a certain amount of capacity beyond your plan peak for the ‘what if a unit trips off,’ what if something occurs,’ so that you can maintain the stability of the system and keep the lights on,” Melda said.
To prevent power overuse, Jackson Energy Authority advises residents unplug unused devices, reduce bath and shower times, and do not use stove tops or ovens to heat the house.
As a reminder, do not go near any downed power lines. Also, if at any time you smell gas, leave the area immediately to move to a safe distance from the smell and call JEA and 911.