Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014
Colder Temperatures Result in Busted Pipes
WILLIAMSON COUNTY -- Several days of below freezing weather are beginning to take their toll. In Williamson County, dozens of broken water lines have been reported over the last two days.
"We have taken probably about 50 percent more calls in one week than we normally do," said local plumber Thad Ellet. "The water will freeze solid and then it will expand. Once it expands, the pipe can only take so much expansion, it will finally burst."
He says his company has taken dozens of calls since Sunday's snow storm. The freezing temperatures pose a threat, but only if the pipes are exposed to the cold air.
"When you have the 20 mile per hour winds, it's like a knife cutting through some of these blocks and foundations," explained Ellet.
Crawl space openings and holes in the exterior of buildings can make it easy for pipes to burst. Even newer facilities can be impacted.
"In the northwest corner of our Tri-C elementary building part of our sprinkler system burst Monday evening," said Carterville schools superintendent Bob Prusator. "We were negatively impacted with lots of water in that classroom and unfortunately it spilled over into other classrooms."
The classroom will be unavailable for a short time, but the issue is being fixed.
"Maybe we can insulate that better just in case we do get those kinds of extreme temperatures again," explained Prusator.
When the temperatures rise the pipes begin to thaw out and begin causing more problems.
Ellet says he must prioritize his business to those most impacted, "People without water right now, the one's with bursts, they are the one's we are working on."
Wind: 16 MPH
Humidity: 75 %