Upstate Homes At Risk For Frozen, Broken Water Pipes - WSPA.com

Upstate Homes At Risk For Frozen, Broken Water Pipes

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A pipe froze and burst in WIlliamston Tuesday morning. Water poured into the street where it froze. A pipe froze and burst in WIlliamston Tuesday morning. Water poured into the street where it froze.
Earl Gamel estimates 100 gallons of water poured through his chandelier after a pipe froze and broke above his dinning room. Earl Gamel estimates 100 gallons of water poured through his chandelier after a pipe froze and broke above his dinning room.
Water damage on ceiling after pipe froze and broke. Water damage on ceiling after pipe froze and broke.
Temperatures below freezing mean water pipes are at risk. Countless in the Upstate woke up Tuesday morning without water or a broken pipe.

A pipe from Earl Gamel's water heater froze and broke overnight. The rupture sent water through the chandelier in Gamel's dinning room into the kitchen.

"I heard something that sounded like the Saluda River," Gamel says.

He estimates 100 gallons dumped into his kitchen.

"There was no water, no way to do anything, take showers or do anything," says Williamston Resident Dawn Cameron.

Pipes to the homes in Cameron's neighborhood froze. No one has water. It's a frustrating situation but all she can do is laugh.

"You can't throw a fit about it," Cameron says.

Rusty Tillman had water Tuesday morning, just the wrong kind.

"I had water but I didn't have hot water," Tillman says, "I see this gusher on the side of the house and I had a blown pipe."

Pipes will continue to be at risk until the "Polar Vortex" leaves. Plumbers say water expands when it freezes so if you have pipes that are partially frozen now they're may already have slightly broken. After the pipe thaws out, you'll find the leak.

To prevent frozen pipes:
  • Keep the pipes warm: Thermostat should be above 55 degrees.
  • Let the faucet drip so that water continues to move, and doesn't have a chance to freeze
  • Open cabinets around pipes so that warm air circulates around the pipes. 
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