Plumbers respond to hundreds of burst pipe calls across East Texas following freezing temperatures

Some homes, businesses and organizations in East Texas are experiencing plumbing nightmares as temperatures begin to rise.
Published: Dec. 27, 2022 at 5:37 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 27, 2022 at 8:14 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Some homes, businesses and organizations in East Texas are experiencing plumbing nightmares as temperatures begin to rise.

A Tyler plumbing company shared tips on what people can do to prepare for the next freeze.

“When it drops down to seven degrees, you know, all bets are off in East Texas or anywhere in the south for that matter,” said general manager of Benjamin Franklin Plumbing John Crymes. “We’re just not prepared for that kind of cool-down that fast.”

Hundreds of homeowners, businesses and organizations across East Texas are calling plumbers to respond to burst pipes. Crymes said they received over 500 calls as frozen pipes began to thaw out, causing tremendous damage. He said they have responded to over 200 of them.

Among those affected is Brook Hill School in Bullard. Crymes said he believes the interior temperatures were dropped too low, causing the copper tubing to freeze up. He said the copper tubing is susceptible to freeze and rupture, and that’s what happened at the school over the holiday weekend. The campus is currently without water, and one of the buildings was flooded.

“What we’re finding a lot of times is it’s a pipe that’s not properly insulated or it’s a pipe that’s not prepared for cold weather being exposed in attics,” said Crymes.

He said they start encouraging people to have their homes inspected and winterized in October -- months before the cold weather actually hits. He said often people wait until the freezing temperatures are here before they go to the hardware store to buy winterizing supplies, but then it’s too late.

“When things get above freezing, that’s when people realize, ‘oh no, I have a problem,’ because water is spraying and running through the ceiling or through a wall, and they come into a flooded house,” he said.

Crymes said that a full inspection would run between $200-$300, but that pales in comparison to the high insurance claims and the headache that comes with burst pipes.

“There’s no guarantee when it drops down to seven degrees, but we could all do a lot better of making sure that pipes are properly insulated a little better than they are now,” Crymes said.

Crymes said his company spends on average two hours per call with repair bills ranging from two to seven hundred dollars, depending if the call was on a holiday.

He reminds people that this is our first cold snap, and that while it will warm back up this week, we have a lot of winter left, so go ahead and get a home inspection now.