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Warmer Temperatures Can Burst Frozen Pipes

Frozen Pipes
(credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) - Rising temperatures are causing frozen pipes to thaw out and can cause problems for homeowners.

Metro area plumbers say they have the next few days booked with calls from people who know their pipes are frozen and are wondering what to do before they thaw out.

When water freezes and expands, even a small crack in a pipe can cause major damage.

Tara McLean is a homeowner and victim of burst pipes.

"Well, life happens. You can't predict everything," said McLean.

According to Bell Plumbing and Heating, some damage can be prevented by disconnecting the outside hoses from faucets and insulating some pipes or using heat tape.

"It's a good idea to have insulation on any pipe on an outside wall. Know where the shutoff is so that when the pipes thaw you don't get the watery mess all over the place," said Greg Palmer from Bell Plumbing and Heating.

Plumbers say if pipes are frozen there's not much that can be done at this point except focus on mitigation.

"If you know it's frozen take a look at the pipe, look to see if it's a burst. If it's not burst you can use a hairdryer from a distance, six to eight inches, to slowly thaw out that line," said Palmer.

A 1/8th-inch crack in a pipe can spew out more than 250 gallons of water each day, which is why it's important to know where the shutoff value is and how to use it.

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