By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jan 31, 2019 at 4:23 PM

Though the worst of it, this time, appears to be past, it’s a good time to remember to protect your pipes when there are extended frigid temps.

The pipes and water meters in your home can freeze quickly and burst when temps are below freezing for a long time.

In addition to interrupting your water service, frozen pipes can cause massive damage and be expensive to fix.

Despite the fact that you get your water from your municipality, the pipes and meter in your house are your responsibility and if they freeze or burst, don’t call your city hall, call a licensed plumber.

Recently, the Milwaukee Water Works shared some tips for keeping your plumbing safe during the polar vortex.

Make sure the heated air in your home can reach the pipes. Open the cabinet doors beneath your kitchen sink, for example.

The pipes that are most susceptible to freezing are the ones along outside walls. Wrap those with insulation or heat tape. Insulate the walls, if possible, where the pipes are located. Make sure pipes are not against concrete walls, preventing air circulation around them.

As you should do every autumn, be sure the valves to your outdoor water supplies are turned off and that you’ve drained the excess water from the faucets.

You can also allow water to trickle from water sources most at risk. I know, it’s a waste of fresh water, but in this case, it’s worth preventing damage.

For the past few days I’ve kept my under-sink cabinet doors opened, reopened the heating vent to my kitchen (which is usually off) and periodically ran a space heater for limited times near pipes in the basement to help boost the temperature around them.

When it’s this cold out there’s a lot to think about, from keeping your car going to preventing frostbite, but don’t forget about your pipes or they’ll remind you. And you don’t want that.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in an episode of TV's "Party of Five," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.