Brief warm-up creates problems for pipes, business for plumbers

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Warm temperatures doesn't mean the threat of pipes bursting is over. In fact, plumbers are in high demand right now.

FOX59 went with Mr. Plumber to a home in Zionsville where plastic pipes burst. He said he's been working non-stop to help people fix their pipes after they burst.

"There's not much you can do when this happens," plumber Jason Hiatt said.

Hiatt said plastic pipes are usually the first to burst from cold weather and after it happens, there's not much you can do except replace them.

Pipes can't withstand the pressure from ice, Hiatt explains. When ice expands, the pipe pops. Once the ice inside the pipe melts, then it starts coming out like a faucet.

If this happens to you, shut your water off immediately, call a plumber, and be patient. Right now, there's a nationwide shortage for plumbers.

"Just be ready to call a plumber and be ready to sit and wait, because I can't tell you how many people we've been going to for frozen pipes just like this," Hiatt said.

The brief warm-up doesn't help. It only allows the ice that's already in the pipes to melt. With another cool-down expected later in the week, the same cycle will happen and your pipes will take a hard hit.

The best thing to do is to keep them warm.

"A crack in a door. That's all it takes. If your garage door didn't close all the way at the bottom because it's frozen, all it takes is this much of a crack at the bottom of your door," Hiatt explained.

Sump pumps can also take a hit. While there's not much you can do to prevent those pipes from freezing, Hiatt recommends constantly monitoring them to notice any signs of problems.

Even if your pipes have burst and you've already had them replaced, there's a chance the same thing can happen again. Hiatt recommends calling a company that uses infrared cameras to find the source of the problem and seal it.

You should also remove the hose from your outdoor faucet to prevent any water from coming inside.

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