Local News

Broken pipes a big issue in freezing temps

Posted January 9

— Nothing beats a hot shower and a warm house when it is freezing outside, but some people in central North Carolina have been living without these luxuries.

Since temperatures dropped below freezing late last week, broken pipes have been a big issue.

Alyson Johnson, who lives in Raleigh, said the numbers on the thermostat in her townhouse were dropping quickly when her heat stopped working.

"It's been pretty cold this whole weekend, but really yesterday it was really cold," she said.

Johnson said she realized her heat wasn't working and was then told the repair company could not make it out because of the icy roads. That was when Johnson hit the road herself in search of a space heater.

"(Heat) is definitely something you take for granted. When you have heat, you can just turn it on," Johnson said.

Across town, Craig Jennings had his own cold weather crisis.

"Last night after the football games I was letting the cats out and I heard a sound that no one wants to hear during winter and that was the sound of gushing water," Jennings said.

Crews arrived to find that a pipe busted in two places under his home.

"It's been a busy weekend, a lot of frozen pipes," said James Grogg, a plumbing supervisor.

According to Grogg, homes in the south are not built to withstand the freezing temperatures.

"We don't usually get these lows," Grogg said. "Up north they are built to be away from these cold spaces and exterior walls, which cause an issue when it gets down to 4 degrees at night."

A time no one wants to lose heat or hot water.

"It's all about the showers and the brushing of teeth. That's the hard part, so I had to go to the gym today to get all that done," Jennings said.

In Fayetteville, the Fire and Emergency Management Department responded to 25 calls Monday due to frozen fire sprinkler and plumbing pipes that burst in commercial occupancy buildings, including apartment complexes, condominiums, a group home and a nursing facility.

According to experts, one way to prevent a broken pipe is to keep a small, steady stream of water flowing from your sink, or shower, especially if the sink or shower backs up to an exterior wall.

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