Broken pipes are keeping plumbers busy

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) --The bitter cold temperatures have moved on--but reminders of the winter blast's brutality can still be felt... In our wallets!

Local plumbers have been working non-stop repairing burst pipes.

The first house I went to had the pipes split in about 6 places according to Loyel Harris, owner of Harris Plumbing.

This time of year you can really get up to your knees in....a house.  And that's exactly where I found him under a house on East Washington. He said there was a lot of breeze space under there.

"That's the whole thing sealing the air out, that's usually what freezes the pipes."

And Loyel Harris has been dealing with lots of calls about frozen and broken pipes.

"Mostly Sunday and today the phones have rang off the wall." In fact when I checked with them around 4 PM they had already taken 60+ calls, and shunting people off to a waiting list.

Some of the broken sections that Loyel had replaced were sitting on a board. This particular house had 6 breaks. They thought one was inside the bathroom behind the sink.

Harris, "Inside we've got a pipe busted between the outside wall and the inside wall. We're gonna have to do some wall removal to get to it."

But that couldn't account for all the water in the back yard.

But a running outside faucet could. We found it behind a mattress leaning up against it. Harris said the valve had more than likely iced up and forced it to turn on. Loyel turned the valve off, Probably the easiest fix all day.

At the home of Lorna Dumas, the clothing she had wrapped around the leak was still frozen.

Ms. Dumas said the faucet was dripping on Friday but then Sunday it really turned bad. She said it sounded like a winter storm.

"The ice dropping down,sssss, the rain going on. So I run in there and I told him it's done got all over everywhere you know what I'm saying."

The section of pipe that Loyel replaced was still frozen. He replaced it with a new plastic type of piping called Pex. Copper, he says is slowly fading out.

"It's had its day. It's still good pipe but things are coming along that is replacing it quite a bit."

The water came back on OK but the ice had damaged the sink taps so the only way to turn the water off and on until they could be replaced was under the sink..1 more job completed.

The last house was very, very, low to the ground with obstructions on all crawl space entrances.

To get underneath this house. Loyel had to do a little deconstruction busting away a part of a cinder block so he could crawl under.

The elbow had blown off a pipe. You could barely see the drip from the outside edge. But the biggest hardship will simply be getting to the problem areas...and they still have several more to go.

If your pipes are still froze you need to leave your taps open. Hopefully the melting ice will be pushed out through them instead of the sides of your pipes.

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