Increase in temperatures causes water pipes to bust

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Temperatures are expected to get above freezing for the first time in several days on Wednesday.

Plumbers will be busy the rest of the week fixing busted pipes. Sean Biggs and Bob Breen with Brian's Plumbing have already started working on water leaks.

Tuesday, they were working on a leak from a sprinkler that was freezing a driveway, causing traffic hazards.

"From what we saw, it was a leak on the sprinkler system," said Breen."It was just a matter of finding the shut-off valve for the sprinkler system."

Brian Walser is president of Brian's Plumbing in Wichita Falls. He said there isn't much that can be done once the pipes bust.

"Most of the time we're just waiting for it to thaw out on its own and hopefully have no busted pipes," said Walser.

ServiceMaster of Wichita Falls specializes in water clean up. Winter months are the busiest times for them. They expect to see calls trickling in, as early as Wednesday.

"The houses get frozen inside the walls and the attic," said Larry Green, water restoration manager for ServiceMaster.  "As long as it stays below freezing, you're not going to know."

The reason for that is because until the temperature gets above 32, the water will stay frozen in the pipes. When those pipes bust, it creates a bigger problem.

"If you go to work, and no one is at home, and a pipe busted in your wall, you'll come home hours later, and your house is going to be flooded," said Walser.

Walser said the first thing you need to do if you see a break in your plumbing is turn off the water as soon as possible. The easiest way to do that is with a tool you can find at the hardware store.

He said that will stop the water supply to your home or business. As for Biggs and Breen, their job isn't over yet.

"When it warms up a little bit we'll come back out here and find the line," said Breen. "Then we can find out what we have to do to fix it."

Brian's Plumbing and ServiceMaster recommend checking your attic. A lot of times there can be water lines hidden there, and when those pipes bust, you risk your ceiling dropping and bring even more damage to your home.

The easiest way to prevent your pipes from freezing is buying the proper insulation for your pipes. If you have an outdoor pipe, it's important to have a cover on it.

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