Plumbers out in full force the day after the big freeze - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Plumbers out in full force the day after the big freeze

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It's the day after the big freeze and plumbers at Metro Sewer and Drain are out in full force. 
John Stubblefield worked 14 hours the day before and expects more long days ahead.

"Probably see a lot of water lines that are not insulated very well, we'll see people who didn't leave a faucet dripping," Stubblefield explains.

Its the first stop of the day at a home in north Georgia, Stubblefield was right on the money.

"I didn't leave my water running, I should have," homeowner, Nancy Peterson says.

Peterson has lived there for seven years, her pipes never froze. However, it hasn't been this cold in more than a decade.

"I just thought it was warm enough in the attic, but it wasn't," Peterson explains.

Stubblefield climbs into the attic to assess the situation. "We're going to have to set a heater up here, we're going to thaw these lines out," he says.

Like many homes Peterson's plumbing consists of copper and PVC pipes. Stubblefield says, while relatively inexpensive, PVC pipes are usually the first to burst.

He says a good investment for homeowners is a new type of piping called PEX piping, which expands and contracts when the water freezes.

A typical visit from a plumber can cost around $400 and that does not include structure damage caused by leaking water.

Heaters and insulation are your number one protection against pipes bursting. On Tuesday many of the calls include frozen pipes but when those pipes thaw Stubblefield says they'll begin getting calls to repair the burst pipes.

"Be patient, we'll get to everybody as quick as we can," says Stubblefield.

Peterson just hopes other homeowners avoid making the same mistake she did. "Its a lesson learned," she says.

Stubblefield suggests placing portable heaters near your pipes to keep them warm and make sure your crawl spaces and vents are closed. Also, its more important to run your hot water rather than cold since your hot water will freeze first.

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