Frozen pipes lead to steamed homeowners - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Frozen pipes lead to steamed homeowners

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You may not notice the leak until the thaw, but if pipes are already frozen, the damage may be done. You may not notice the leak until the thaw, but if pipes are already frozen, the damage may be done.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Huntsville homeowner Caroline Prince was stunned and furious when she discovered her pipes and frozen during the day Monday, leaving her house high and dry.

"I let my pipes run all last night. How could they possibly freeze during the day when it was sunshiny outside?" she asked. "I thought I'd taken care of everything. I turned my heat up; I even swung my shower door open so that hot air would flow."

Crews from Mr. Rooter Plumbing have been scrambling out to call after call since Friday, putting in extra hours and keeping extra manpower on duty. Owner Steve Vinson said when the temperatures get below the 20s, his phone starts ringing.

"We're having actual water breaks, where the pipes have frozen and actually busted the pipes and blown the sheetrock off the walls and everything," he said.

At Prince's house, workers traced the problem to a cold crawlspace which turned into a freezer.

"All you got is a block foundation, so it gets pretty cold and stays pretty cold there," said plumber Josh Cox.

In the Tennessee Valley, such arctic conditions are a rarity, which becomes part of the problem for the plumbers and the customers they serve."

"They don't expect it that much, so they're not prepared," said Vinson.

To make matters worse at the Prince home, crews were held up by a possible gas leak and had to wait for a utility crew. Vinson said depending on where they happen, frozen pipes can wreak real havoc.

"They're devastated at the damage it can cause in a very short amount of time."

The pipes may not start leaking until they thaw, but once they freeze, the damage is probably already done. Experts say you must know your home, taking note of any exterior pipes on the walls and protecting any exposed pipes – both inside and outside.

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