Busted Pipes Flood Region 8

Opening cabinet doors before going to bed is a simple way to avoid the headaches of a busted water pipe. (KAIT/S.Tyner)
Opening cabinet doors before going to bed is a simple way to avoid the headaches of a busted water pipe. (KAIT/S.Tyner)

January 24, 2003
Posted at: 8:00 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, Ark. -- Bitter overnight cold in Region 8 Thursday night meant extra work for plumbers and carpet cleaners who came to the aide of many in Jonesboro with busted pipes.

Single-digit overnight lows left their mark on area homes and pocketbooks. However, according to plumbers working with the less fortunate Friday morning, that doesn't necessarily have to be the case every time cold weather hits.

Danny Nuckles is a plumber in Jonesboro servicing an apartment complex that flooded early Friday morning due to frozen and busted water pipes. He owns Nuckles and Sons Plumbing, and what he is facing Friday morning is something he knows all to well, especially in wintertime.

"Right now they got ice in them," Nuckles said of the pipes at an apartment complex he is working at. "Their froze, but they're already busted. When they thaw out, waters going to be going everywhere."

In this particular case, water is covering the sidewalk outside, as opposed to another building at a similar property where six first floor apartments were completely flooded.

"We brought out locating equipment to locate where the water was coming from," John Watkins said. "Basically we followed the water to the source, then when we determined the leak was under the slab.

"Then you have to call out the boys and have them bring out the jack-hammer."

The outdoor leak, thanks to the use of the jack-hammer, was fixed two hours later. This case serves as only one of many more to come over the weekend as temperatures drop, then rise.

"At least it's not inside, they're lucky today," Nuckles said.

Nuckles reccommended some easy steps that homeowners and renters can take to avoid busted water pipes. For starters, the simple act of opening the cabinets under the sink before going to bed can be very helpfull.

"Make sure we get some heat inside them," Nuckles said. "Leave them open at night and that puts some heat against that outside wall, keep them from freezing."

Letting faucets drip can also help prevent accidents. By doing this, a constant flow of water comes through pipes. Nuckles says, however, that going outside the house is where daily checkouts should occur,

"Make sure your vents are all shut, and it's good if you insulate your pipes," Nuckles said. "My pipes under this apparment that got froze they are insulated but somebody knocked the door off and it still froze."

He suggests using some type of electrical heater or electrical heat tapes for insulation and to help keep pipes warm. Finally, there's one more step to take, and it's usually the one most forget: Check your outside water hoses.

"Be sure you unhooked your water hoses. If you haven't already unhooked it already, it's probably to late."

Nuckles went on to say that if this Saturday is anything like the last one, following the snow storm, he expects to vistit around 150 homes with busted pipes.