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Prepare pipes and heating for freezing temperatures coming to Butte

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Posted at 7:24 AM, Jan 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-11 11:35:24-05

BUTTE - The first blast of subzero temperatures will be hitting Butte this week and many buildings, including the historic Jacob Housing in Butte, running the risk of having plumbing and heating issues and with temperatures falling this far below zero. That’s nothing to mess with.

“Well, plumbing for sure and, I mean, heating is a huge—heating is life or death in Montana,” said Amy Lockmer of Lockmer Plumbing, Heating and Utilities in Butte.

Pipes can freeze and heating units can become overworked and fail from the extreme cold. Lockmer Plumbing, Heating and Utilities say a deep freeze is a bad time to need repairs.

“We just try to get to everyone that we can in the order that we can get to them, but it can be really difficult,” said Lockmer.

They recommend keeping air intakes clear of ice and replace air filters to keep heating units working. There are steps people can take to keep water pipes from freezing.

“Keep heat in the areas where you have pipes. Let your water run, a little trickle, overnight, because water won’t freeze when it’s moving,” said Lockmer.

Butte has been winterizing its buildings for the coming cold temperatures.

“We have some challenges with the older buildings, but for the most part, all of our mechanical systems are intact,” said Butte Government Buildings Manager John Sullivan.

Last winter, Butte’s historic Jacobs House, which is the oldest still-standing home in Butte, suffered major water damage due to a pipe burst. Repairs were made to the home, which was built in 1879 and was home to Butte’s first mayor.

“It’s a special part of Butte and we want to make sure all of our buildings are—it’s easier to repair a few things beforehand versus having to come in and repair after the fact. A little leak can cost a lot of money,” said Sullivan.