Catherine Ross, NBC 5 News
Another hazard from the frigid temperatures, frozen pipes that burst when they thaw. Plumbers urge homeowners to protect their pipes from the cold.
A big problem with the cold weather is freezing pipes. It can be an expensive and messy problem for homeowners and business owners to fix.
After several days without heat, due to a shut-off, malfunctioning gas line, a Dallas couple was greeted with a new problem this week: freezing pipes.
"It's everybody. Everybody is susceptible to it," said Larry Spector, of Public Service Plumbers. "It really doesn’t matter if it's a new house or an older home, [the cold] gets through the brick and ends up freezing a hydrant that may be connected to a wall or coming out of the ground."
Spector said exterior plumbing has been an issue this week, but during the thaw he expects to get hundreds of calls about broken pipes.
"As soon as it warms up to above 28 degrees, things will start thawing out, depending on where the sun is when it all happens, probably Wednesday afternoon we'll get an influx of it," he said.
The Public Service Plumbers crew was on site fixing Angel Parkey's gas line issue when the freeze break happened, conveniently starting the process of restoring her heat – and stopping a potential flood.
She said it was a firsthand lesson in the potential for disaster after a major freeze.
"It'll be nice to be warm again, to walk inside my warm house," Parkey said.
Plumbing experts encourage home and business owners to leave cabinets with plumbing open to let heat in, as well as letting faucets drip to prevent water from backing up in pipes.