Frozen pipes keeping plumbers in Texoma busy - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Frozen pipes keeping plumbers in Texoma busy

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DENISON -- Freezing temperatures are causing water pipes to break across Texoma.

Fixing a broken pipe can be a headache for homeowners And that's keeping plumbers busy.

Doug Mendenhall has been a plumber for nearly 30 years. He now works for Allen's Plumbing in Denison.

Despite the ice storm hitting Texoma more than a week ago, he says one side effect may just now be showing up.

All week, Mendenhall has been traipsing through the ice to reach leaky faucets that burst during the hard freeze.

He says pipes break when the standing water in them freezes, causing the pipes to expand.

"It expands, it gets to the point where it keeps pushing that pipe out and something's got to give and a lot of times it'll give and that's when you'll realize you have a water leak," Mendenhall said.

Mendenhall says he's been on 15 freeze-related water leak calls this week, but that may be just the beginning.

"When the freeze goes away, when everything melts off, that's when the leaks tend to show up really big time," Sam Harston, Home Depot assistant manager, said.

But fighting frozen pipes is easy.

"Insulation, insulation, insulation is really the biggest thing," Harston said.

Protecting your pipes can be as easy as wrapping a towel around it. But, local hardware stores, like Home Depot, sell products designed to fit specific types of pipes.

Foam insulation and faucet covers will help protect your pipes from the elements.

You can also let your faucets drip during a hard freeze to keep the water flowing.

While there are many ways to fix a cracked pipe on your own, Mendenhall says stubborn ice that refuses to melt will likely mean long hours ahead for plumbers, like him.

He says the cost of repairing a broken pipe is typically between $100 and $200.