The weather outside is frightful…
And for local plumbers – some might suspect – delightful. In the case of Roger ther Plumber there was heck to pay starting in the wee hours of this morning, with locals burning up the phone lines with tales of frozen water pipes.
"You know, I can measure what time people in Johnson County get up by the calls I got this morning," Roger says. "My phone started ringing at 5 after 4. Then the second wave of people started calling at 10 after 5. Then I went to the office and we had 18 more calls between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m."
The primary reason for the calls: "No water," Roger says. "No water coming out of the faucets. When the water inside the pipes freezes, no liquid will flow through them."
Fortunately for most folks, all they needed was a bit of friendly advice.
"The first thing I told them was to turn up their heat and open their cupboard and closet doors and the doors between their house and the garage," Roger says.
Happily, for many of the callers, they didn’t have to worry about busted pipes, Roger says.
"No, a lot of people have plastic pipes these days and they will withstand breaking better. But for the people with copper pipes, the damage had already been done. And hen the ice turns back into waters, the water will start spraying out into their basements or garages."
Tonight is likely to be even worse, Roger warns.
"The wind chill is what makes it bad," he says. "The next time it gets really cold and we get a wind chill prediction below 5 degrees, people need to leave the water tickling so it won’t happen again. No matter what the temperature is, the wind chill has more to do with it."
For the plastic pipe crowd – generally people living south of 119th street, "They’ll probably be okay when their pipes thaw," Roger adds. "But north of 119th street it’s generally copper."
If your copper pipes do freeze, "I recomend getting a plumber with a pipe thawing machine," Roger says. "That way it will melt the ice, so we can get the water running and be their to fix it afterwards. I sepnd a lot of time coaching people over the phone because there’s no need for me to go out if its plastic. They just need to figure out how the cold air is getting in to freeze their pipes."