Tow truck drivers are busy responding to stranded drivers during the extreme cold in central Alberta. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Vehicles won’t start: Central Alberta tow truck company busy

Freezing water pipes another problem

Central Albertans have been dealing with freezing water pipes and cold vehicle batteries thanks to the bitter cold.

Geoff Tagg, of Tagg’s Extreme Towing and Recovery, of Penhold, said the last few days were “absolutely bananas” because drivers weren’t plugging in their vehicles or failed to replace old batteries.

“Some people don’t understand a battery life is four to six years on a typical vehicle. A guy I had the other day, his was nine years and another guy yesterday, it was seven years,” said Tagg who had already responded to five calls on Tuesday morning by about 9:30 a.m.

“You’ve got to be able to plug in at this temperature. Nothing wants to move. People just didn’t plug in or they don’t have enough battery power.”

He said some drivers say their batteries worked fine last year, but that was last year.

“They seem to forget they live in Canada. This happens every year. It’s not really a surprise,” said Tagg who also wanted to remind highway drivers to slow down when they see tow truck lights.


Red Deer tow truck company receives too many calls in weekend storm

Leaky and frozen water lines keep workers busy in Red Deer

The cold weather may also bring problems for home owners.

Jon Marois, owner of EZ Steam & Wash, of Rimbey, said extreme cold tends to cause the most problems for mobile home owners. Sewer, water and propane lines are often at risk of freezing.

“Propane doesn’t flow very well in these temperatures. If your furnace is running on propane, you might lose your furnace in the middle of the night. By the time you get it going, your pipes may already be starting to freeze,” Marois said.

He said water and sewer lines on rural properties are also at risk.

“There’s lot of potential for frost to be driven into the ground if you’re driving over your sewer lines, or your water lines.”

He recommended using hay bales for insulation around well shacks to protect against the wind and frost.

Marois said another big reason for freeze-ups are lack of use.

“If someone goes on a holiday in the middle of winter, their sewer won’t be in use, and the taps won’t be in use. All that water is just sitting there stagnant rather than moving through the system.”

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