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home : latest news : local March 26, 2015

1/15/2013 6:01:00 AM
Wanted for Failure to Appear: Water
Cold cracks pipes in Kingman, forcing some to crack open wallets
A warrant was issued for water at the Mohave County Probation Department after the pipes froze and employees and visitors were forced to use temporary facilities in the parking lot. It worked, and water was restored to the building by 2 p.m.
A warrant was issued for water at the Mohave County Probation Department after the pipes froze and employees and visitors were forced to use temporary facilities in the parking lot. It worked, and water was restored to the building by 2 p.m.

Ahron Sherman
Miner Staff Reporter

You wake up, wipe the sleep out of your eyes and stumble to your coffee pot, but when you turn on your faucet you hear a groan instead of the sound of running water.

Your pipes froze overnight, and now you can't get any water until they thaw. But things could've been worse. One of those pipes could've ruptured and caused a flood.

The weekend freeze that saw overnight temperatures struggle to climb above 15 caused numerous problems around the city.

"We've been inundated with calls since last week," said Pat Yarush, the supervisor/estimator at Truelove Plumbing.

The amount of calls coming in to Truelove started building momentum Friday and by the weekend they were coming in at a break-neck pace, Yarush said.

Some called to report frozen or broken pipes while others called to report floods, he said.

"We've had multiple flood calls since last week," he said, from residences and businesses alike. "It's a real mess."

A lot of people don't realize the damage prolonged freezing temperatures can cause to water lines because Kingman is situated on the edge of cold weather country and it doesn't always freeze like this.

"It catches people off guard," he said.

George Sedich, Kingman's water superintendent, said the city received more than 50 calls over the weekend from customers reporting frozen and broken pipes. But there's little the city can do other than shut off water mains in cases of flooding, he said.

But there are things people can do in the day when it's not as cold to protect their homes and decrease the chances of pipes freezing overnight.

Go through your property and search for exposed water lines, which are typically found in garages, attic spaces, near exterior walls and close to your home's foundation, Yarush said. Insulate them with something. Blankets work when the freezing temperatures aren't accompanied by precipitation, he said.

"You could knock (a survey like this) out in 30 minutes," Yarush said.

Pay special attention to any outside lines - such as those used for irrigation - that are exposed.

They are very susceptible to freezing, Yarush explained.

Additionally, it's a good idea to leave a slow stream of water running in a couple of your property's sinks.

"You'd be surprised with how little movement it takes to stop lines from freezing," Yarush said.

Once temperatures dip this low it's wise to do anything you can to avoid having your pipes freeze and potentially rupture, which causes a lot of damage and costs a great deal of money to repair.

KRMC (career choice)-46961
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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Article comment by: D D

BB and CC:

Actually Kingman's all time low is 4F above on January 29, 1979. That is from the NOAA records.

Keep in mind the official temps for Kingman are taken out at the airport, which is normally one of the coldest spots in the area at night. In town and in the foothills it rarely falls below 10-15F.

Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Article comment by: biker randy

I read it hasn't gotten this cold since 1990 here. We moved here 3.5 years ago and luckily our house has 2x6 thick walls and the entire garage is insulated. But last winter we have pvc pipe running the water to our house from underground and the house on/off bronze valve outside froze 1 time at night. We were able to get water from neighbors whose house didn't freeze. I thawed out our outside valve and covered it with blankets and covered the blankets with an emptied plastic/paper bag we get with bird feed in it for the wild birds we feed. So far this year the only freezing I've seen is our outdoor faucets that I also put foam around and they havent burst. But yes, this is all the homeowners job to correct. If you're in a rental I don't know how that works.

Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Article comment by: C C

To B B
According to the weather channel 's web page. Kingman's record low is minus 2 in1949. Where did you get your info? I'd like to compare web sites. I'm not trying to be snarky.

Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Article comment by: R .

Gosh, do I ever hate cold crack pipes!

Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Article comment by: Thai Mai Shu

@ JistMe and UnCracked:

Since when is it the homeowners responsibility to tell a contractor to insulate the pipes?

You expect someone to buy a home in Kingman and have the walls opened up to prove that a spec house was built correctly?

I don't know where you got your information but it is NOT a home buyers or owners responsibility to tell a "licensed" contractor to insulate pipes.

Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Article comment by: B B

Temperatures go this low every year, nothing new. Stop acting like New Yorkers waiting for the government to do everything for you.
Kingman's record low is 6 deg. F.

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Article comment by: mr. parker

One trick is to open the cabinets that have pipes in them and let the heat from the house prevent freezing.

Another is to put a 100W incandescent light near the pipes. The heat generated helps prevent freezing.
Of course, BO and his regime are doing their best to restrict incandescent bulbs as opposed to the newer LED bulbs that don't generate heat.
Have an arc welder? Used carefully, it can thaw copper pipes, iron might not work as well for safety reasons.
As suggested heat tapes and insulation placed properly will reduce freezing.

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Article comment by: patty hertz

I have lived in my house for 1 yrs. and have not had a single frozen pipe. Not so this year! I was at work when it happened so came home after dark to hear a waterfall off my roof. The feed to my evaportive cooler, even though shut off and insulated, burst.Back yard and neighbors yard flooded. My biggest concern is how the City is going to handle this type of "usage" in the months they use to formulate the new sewer average fee.

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Article comment by: jist me

its not the contractors job, YOU can ask them to do it but YOU will pay EXTRA. it is YOUR responsibility,

not the city, not the county, not the police officer driving down your street, not your baby sitter. YOU

and, except for exposed pipes and outside faucets, most dont even think about it except every 5 or 10 years.

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Article comment by: Un cracked

I really don`t see what the problem is. Did you not check to see what the temps COULD go down to before you moved here? About 5 or 6 years ago we had one of these cold snaps. 9 degrees two night in a row, with a high of 30. Lots of busted pipes then too. Trickle a couple of taps, and wrap the rest with towels. Insulate what`s exposed, or have it done if your unsure what to wrap. To blame the contractor, or city for your own ignorance, is preposterous!

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Article comment by: It's Cold!

Use heat cable and your pipes will never freeze again. Fairly inexpensive and a permanent solution.

We moved here years ago and immediately had a hard freeze. Seven pipe ruptures at our house & we were without water for weeks.
Covering the pipes with foam or blankets doesn't work so I looked for a permanent solution. Now, when the weather gets below 33 deg. The heat cable warms up the pipes and they haven't frozen yet.

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Article comment by: Kingman mom

Almost every single home in our neighborhood had pipes freeze and burst. Our repair guy said every house that has the same lay out as ours has had theirs bust the last few days... all in the same spot - several in two or thee spots. He showed us the other issues and we took care of them with blankets and foam. We were lucky and caught it in about two hours so not quite as much damage as some that had it going all day while they were at work. It really doesn't take long to go and check the lines - hardware stores sell stuff that makes it easy to do. We've learned our lesson!

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Article comment by: Thai Mai Shu

If the contractors around here would spend the extra $100.00 during construction and install pipes correctly and plan ahead for these freezes we wouldn't be having these frozen pipe problems.

Maybe it's too hard to dig that line down a foot instead of 6 inches and wrap a little insulation around it where it pops up out of the ground.

Wonder how they would make it where it really got cold?

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Article comment by: Web Dawg

When we built our home in 2004 I had Truelove install Pex as my water lines. They have frozen in the past, but never burst.

We live in the mountains so we still watch the weather and run our faucets as a safety measure.

Wrapping your outside faucets and covering with the faucet covers is a huge help.

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Article comment by: No Name

If you own a new home and your pipes are froze thank your contractor and the city. Since the city does not require use of the insulation portion of the international building codes in Kingman it is a yearly occurrence when the cold temps hit. The cities answer is of course to leave you tap dripping costing you the homeowner instead of enacting this portion of the building codes for our contractors. Why shouldn't they. Raise the water rates, raise the sewer rates so that they get more from us and yet all summer long we are told to conserve. Used to be the city even put that little memo in your water bill. Here is something simpler Mr. Mayor. Require the insulation portion of the building code. We have several days where the temps get well below the freezing part. Change the building code finally so that this stops. I lived 11 years in North Dakota and never had a frozen pipe, 16 years in Wyoming and never had a frozen pipe. Since moving to Kingman every year my pipes have froze.

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