Spike in Plumbing Calls Following Monday’s Freeze

Local plumbing professionals were tackling the initial wave of damage caused by a recent freeze on Tuesday. Despite widespread preventive measures, numerous homeowners contended with the harsh realities of nature, facing issues such as ruptured water fixtures and a complete loss of water supply.

For instance, one resident, Peggy Bielski, took considerable steps to mitigate the freeze’s impact. She covered all her plants and insulated almost all of her pipes. However, the small portion of uninsulated pipes led to a disruption in her water supply for the entire day. “We were fortunate they had the necessary parts for repairs because currently, I have no running water. We had to shut it off as it was just gushing onto the street,” Bielski explained. “So, turning off all the water was the most challenging part.”

Backflow preventers, typically associated with the large U-shaped pipes seen around many buildings, played a significant role in this situation. However, the backflow preventer in Bielski’s case was a smaller unit, part of her lawn watering system. A journeyman plumber, Oscar Solis, noted, “Due to the freezing conditions, we encountered a leak at the backflow device. It’s a 1-inch PVB for the irrigation system. You can observe here at the shutoff, where it cracked due to expansion.”

Despite the cover on the backflow preventer, Solis pointed out that the extreme cold was still potent enough to cause pipe damage. He mentioned that the true extent of the problems, such as leaks, might take time to become apparent. “The next few days are crucial. That’s when the real damages start to manifest,” he said. “It’s not necessarily during the freeze itself but in the following days, when everything begins to thaw, that we start noticing more leaking pipes.”

Bielski and her husband realized that even the most thorough preparations sometimes must be revised. “We kept the water dripping throughout the night from every faucet. That was a positive step. But, in the end, you must wrap your pipes well,” she remarked.

Several local plumbers have confirmed that they are bracing for a surge in calls regarding burst pipes, anticipating a significant increase in demand for their services after the freeze. This anticipation underscores the widespread impact of the freeze on the community’s plumbing systems and the challenges faced by homeowners in protecting their properties from such natural adversities. The situation highlights the importance of adequate preventive measures and timely professional assistance to mitigate the effects of severe weather conditions on residential infrastructure.

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