Cold cracks pipes in Kingman, forcing some to crack open wallets

ERIN TAYLOR/Miner<br>
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.

ERIN TAYLOR/Miner<br> 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.

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.