Watches & Warnings Warnings

UPDATE: Melting ice causing bursting pipes in East Texas

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POSTED: Saturday, February 5, 2011 - 11:11pm

UPDATED: Saturday, February 5, 2011 - 11:17pm

Instead of driving, on Saturday, plumbing was the problem in East Texas.

Saturday in Whitehouse, we spent some time with one plumber in the middle of a very busy day.

Ricardo Guerra with American Plumbing has been in the plumbing business nearly all of his life.

With about 100 hours below freezing, he says this week has been one of the busiest times since the 1980's when there was another giant freeze.

And when pipes started bursting Saturday afternoon as we got above freezing, things got even busier.

"It started right after lunch.  Pop here, pop there, and so we're going crazy now," Guerra said.

Guerra was working on plumbing fed by a well to a home in Whitehouse.

The homeowners had not been able to use the water for days and when ice started to melt, the PVC pipes just broke.

Guerra says proper insulation is key for keeping pipes warm, and it's also good to keep the water flowing somehow, for example, by leaving faucets dripping.

Guerra says in the future it's important for East Texans to know how to shut their water off when pipes start to freeze.

"A lot of people don't know how to cut their water off.  So it's a good thing to get you a meter key, make sure you can cut your water off or have a plumber install a new shut off valve to your house and show everybody in the family how to shut it off," Guerra said.

And even though it feels like the calm after the storm, East Texas is expected to have another cold spell next week.

Guerra says as more cold weather approaches it's very important to get those hoses off of your outdoor faucets and cover up the faucet with either a hard-covering or even an old rag will do.

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