Weather changes bring plumbing problems to Kansas

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Several days of below freezing temperatures have taken their toll on some homeowners and renters plumbing, causing pipes to freeze.

On Saturday, temperatures rose above freezing and the frozen pipes started to show they have burst.

Two homes near 25th Street North and Grove had busted pipes. Ronnie Mitchell says he had to run out to his water meter to turn off a valve after a bathroom pipe started flooding his basement.

“Water everywhere,” Mitchell said while splashing through his basement floor.

A small tear in a copper pipe was to blame for the water leaking into his basement.

Mitchell was lucky his son noticed the leak and the water was shut off quickly. The same cannot be said for another homeowner just a few houses down the street.

That homeowner says their hot water tank ruptured, likely because of the cold temperatures, and leaked for days. The effects of that leak could be seen and felt across the neighborhood as the leaked water spilled out into the street, causing hundreds of gallons of water to freeze to city roads. Several blocks had curbs filled with ice. At some point, salt and sand was applied to the streets to help thaw the ice.

A plumber with Benjamin Franklin Plumbing says that it is not until the pipes thaw that the problems from ice become known.

“Freezing water causes expansion causing those pipes to burst and as they thaw out, they start leaking spraying water," said Garrett Davis of Benjamin Franklin Plumbing.

If a water pipe bursts and leaks water, most utility companies will require the homeowner or renter to pay for the water even through it was wasted. In some cases, the bill can be very costly.

To prevent a plumbing problem becoming a financial problem, take note of low water pressure in your home, if your sump pump is running even though there has not been rain recently or you notice areas that are wet that should not be. If you suspect a leak, consult a plumber or landlord. 

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