North Texas

Frozen Pipes, Broken Water Heaters Keeping Plumbers Busy

If you've got frozen pipes, know how to turn off the water to your home to minimize damage

As temperatures rise above freezing Wednesday, plumbers across North Texas are bracing for a flood of calls about busted water pipes.

“There’s not a whole lot you can do now except wait, unfortunately,” said Jamie Wooldridge, President of Berkeys Air Conditioning, Plumbing, and Electrical in Southlake.

Many homeowners already know they have frozen water pipes, and some have already started leaking.

“All these pipes were within three to four foot from the side wall, and yeah, they’re freezing up on us,” said Berkeys Jeff Sims, who responded to a call Tuesday morning from a homeowner in Grapevine whose furnace went out, leading to even bigger problems.

“He turned the water off cause he had a busted pipe,” said Sims. “Now with the temperatures were they are, his whole plumbing system, water system is froze up.”

Frozen pipes often burst once they start to thaw out as water pressure begin to build, but there’s still time to protect other pipes from freezing.

“The thing you really want to try to do is really protect pipes that are on the outer walls or exposed,” said Wooldridge. “So a couple things you can do is obviously keep the heat on in the house, crack cabinets, keep cabinet doors cracked and if you’ve got a real susceptible area that you might leave a faucet dripping.”

“The most important thing is to leave the faucets dripping," said Sims. “Open all their cabinets and expose it to the heat in their home.”

You’ll know you have a problem if you open a faucet and nothing comes out.

In that case, know how to shut off water to the house if the frozen pipe bursts, and keep the number of a good plumber handy.

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