Kingman plumbers field calls on frozen, broken pipes

KINGMAN - Plumbers in Mohave County are getting calls about frozen pipes, thanks to the first hard freeze of the year to hit the area.

Dean Stacks, owner of Retro Plumbing, said his crew was on its second call Friday morning about water pipes that had broken after freezing and were now leaking water. Stacks said water pipes are located in the walls and attics of homes, as well as underneath them, and are susceptible to cold weather.

"We're getting a lot of calls, but most of the people have frozen pipes, and I don't think they're going to thaw today," said Stacks. "Unfortunately, people are just going to have to wait it out until the temperatures rise, because it's too difficult to try to locate the spot where the pipes are frozen. Once the weather warms up and the pipes thaw out, we'll be able to tell whether they are broken."

Temperatures have been unseasonably bitter over the past five days, and the National Weather Service issued a hard freeze warning throughout the Mohave Desert area, including Kingman, though the snow that was forecast never materialized.

Snow or not, winter is still alive in Mohave County, and plumbers are expecting to get more calls as the season progresses. Pat Yarush, a supervisor at TrueLove Plumbing, said the current number of calls has been minimal - mostly pipes outdoors and inside empty buildings with no heat - compared to the drastic drop in temperature, but he thinks that will change as frigid weather moves in again.

"Winter is finally here, but it's still early in the season," said Yarush. "Maybe our calls are low now because we've had several extreme winters and people have done some preventative maintenance on their pipes to keep them protected. We'll probably get more calls as the cold goes on."

Yarush encouraged residents to cover outside pipes with insulation or heat tape, disconnect and store garden hoses and leave an indoor faucet dripping during extreme cold weather. Yarush said dripping water keeps pipes open so they continue to run; otherwise, the water in the pipes freezes and expands, causing the pipes to burst.

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