East Texas plumbers answer the call when pipes burst

By Morgan Thomas - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Despite repeated warnings it never fails.  Exposed pipes freeze, cause problems and the plumber has to come out.  Calls came from all parts of town from businesses and homes alike.

As the temperature decreases, the calls to your local plumber increase.

"All over the city this morning, pipes freezing up everywhere.  The backflows, the tankless water heaters everywhere," said Raymond Dulaney. A plumber at Journeyman Plumber for Truss & Sons.

For businesses it was back flows freezing up.

"The federal government forces the cities to enforce it but keep the water inside the building not breaking up into the city water supply," said Roy Truss, Owner of Truss & Sons Plumber Inc.

And even the building's backflow right next door wasn't immune to the freeze.

"That one busted.  We were going around all morning with torches thawing them out, but this one is gone.  Busted," said Truss.

Pipes brake due to exposure to severally cold weather.

"The water in it just freezes, and it expands and it just cracked it," said Truss.

For homes, it was the tankless water heaters.

"They weren't getting any hot water inside the house that's due to it being outside here," said Dulaney.

So he gets his heat gun and runs it along the pipe to thaw it out.

"Luckily they didn't freeze hard enough to burst the pipes.  Just enough where they didn't have water pressure inside," said Dulaney.

Proper insulation would probably have prevented most plumber calls.

"If they're already froze up you can't do anything," said Truss.

Make sure to do right. Insulation done wrong makes it worse.

"It wasn't insulated properly to start with and any air that gets in there the insulation will hold cold air to the pipe and actually cause it more harm," said Dulaney.

The plumbers aren't expecting things to get any better.

"We suspect there be a lot of leaks," said Truss.

"Probably a lot of pipes bursting.  So we'll be working all through the weekend to get people's water back," said Dulaney.

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