FARGO — With below-freezing days becoming a more common occurrence, local plumbing companies are urging people to do more to protect their homes.

The main thing homeowners need to make sure of is that water from sump pumps isn't going outside into the street, according to specialists with plumbing businesses in Fargo-Moorhead. Most companies can install a bypass in the drain lines to allow the water to go into the sewer, where it would fill without freezing.

If the water does drain outside, the hoses connected to the sump pump can freeze, causing blocked pipes.

"Even with these cold temperatures it still flows, but it's going to freeze eventually — just because water will build up to ice and the ice will back up into the house," explains Maverick Symington with local heating and plumbing business Laney's, Inc.

For those who don't have a bypass valve, Symington said the next best thing is to disconnect the hoses outside and to make sure they're far enough away from the house so they don't leak back into your drainage pipes.

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"Those corrugated hoses collect all that water, and the ice builds up in those little grooves and slowly builds up to where it's frozen," he said. "We've been having a lot of calls already lately with these temperatures and it's only going to get worse."