Plumbers inundated with broken-pipe calls as temperatures warm back up

Problem Solvers

DENVER (KDVR) — As temperatures start warming back up, local plumbing hot lines are ringing like crazy.

From Thursday to Monday, Plumb Line Services received 4,419 calls for service. During the same time last year, they got 1,483 calls.

“It just takes one cold snap like this to kind of remind us we live in Colorado,” Plumb Line Services Plumbing Field Supervisor Steve Bowen said.

FOX31 Problem Solvers got a look behind the pipes during a ride along with Bowen Tuesday to see the biggest problems people are dealing with.

Two main issues he’s seen so far include people forgetting to disconnect their hoses before a freeze and people’s pipes failing.

“As you turn the valve off, it’s supposed to empty out like a shower head,” Bowen said, adding, “If it’s failed, it doesn’t drain properly and it freezes. The same thing happens if you leave the hose on.”

Unique to this year, Bowen noticed a number of pipe bursts are happening due to the way people renovated their basements during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. 

“What we’re running into is now the water lines are isolated from the basement and aren’t insulated correctly and it just takes a little bit of a draft hitting the water lines to freeze it,” Bowen said.

If you’re thinking about a renovation, Bowen recommends communicating with your contractor about water-line placement before work is done.

If it is too late, he says you should make sure to keep a small amount of water running through your pipes before and during the next freeze.

“Trying to do preventative moving forward would obviously be beneficial for everybody,” Bowen said.

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