DENVER (CBS4) – Plumbing companies said they saw their calls more than double on Wednesday because the quick change in weather made a spike in frozen pipes bursting.

Steven Bayha woke up to a noise he didn’t want to hear.

“I think I hear some hissing as if water is leaking,” Bayha said.

He was right. Bayha’s patio and the perimeter of his house were totally flooded. He owns an older home with a sprinkler system, but because winter came so late, Bayha and hundreds of other Denver resident’s forgot to shut off those exposed water lines and they burst.

“Typically, that line should have been drained out,” Greg Crippen with Applewood Plumbing and Heating said.

Burst pipes can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage, forcing homeowners to dismantle walls, floors and ceilings.

Overnight, utility companies had to break through the street to reach a break. The damage from a single break can be devastating. A small crack can dump hundreds of gallons in a few minutes.

“Quite literally the water molecules stop moving, they start expanding and they burst right through the pipe,” Crippen said.

Crippen said Bayha’s fix couldn’t happen until after all the water drained. Homeowners should be proactive now, draining exposed, unused lines now to avoid a problem of their own.

Plumbers say one of the biggest problem areas is the kitchen sink. They say to leave the cabinet doors open directly below the sink to let warm air to come in. They also recommend purchasing a freeze alarm.


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