Plumbing problems can persist after the thaw

PARMA, Ohio-- When the folks at Pace Personnel in Parma opened the doors Thursday morning, they found a busted pipe seam and no running water.

But before you can fix the leak, you have to thaw out the plumbing. That takes time.

"The water was just sort of trickling out a little bit slower toward the end of the day. So we opened up the room where the pipes are so they get more heat back there. But I came in this morning and it was froze up," said Jason Peterson, Pace Personnel owner.

Certified Services general manager John McHugh said thaw out pipes too fast and that can make things a lot worse.

"They'll put heat on it, they'll try to heat it up really fast, to get it to thaw. And when ice moves, that's when pipes burst." McHugh said.

Certified Services uses an electrical charge to slowly and safely thaw pipes. An electric current is run along the pipe from the water source to an outlet, like a sink or toilet. It slowly breaks up the frozen bits without causing more damage.

Plumbers said it is important to thaw them as soon as possible.

"The problem is if you leave it, what happens is when you have frozen pipes, you get expansion and contraction that could freezeĀ and pipes could burst. So it could be a bigger mess. So you want to have a professional come out the whole system analyzed," McHugh said.

He said their trucks have been running all over the area, dealing with busted pipes and frozen lines. He said even though the area is in a deep freeze and homes are dealing with issues right now, once the weather warms, more folks will find problems with their plumbing.

"The next couple days are crucial because people who didn't realize that the water lines are frozen are going to wake up the next morning to water spraying all over. Because fittings will pop, pipes will burst and stuff like that," McHugh said.

McHugh said you can try to block drafts around pipes by insulating the area. You can also run a small trickle of water from the faucet. But it's so cold that these breaks will still happen despite best efforts.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.