How to deal with frozen pipes

The bitter cold has passed, but the problems it caused on waterlines in surrounding households has kept workers with ARS Rescue Rooter busy throughout the week.

"Yesterday, all day, our crew has been unthawing waterlines and today up until this point that's all we've been doing is unthawing waterlines," said Richard Tollefson, plumbing foreman with ARS Rescue Rooter.

Tollefson says if the pipes are placed outside, when the temperature drops below 32 degrees, there's not much hope.

"Codes in the Carolinas here really aren't prepared for this type of weather, it's very unusual. The plumping is just not prepared for this type of weather," said Tollefson.

If your pipes are frozen, Tollefson says a plumber needs to defrost them as soon as possible, or you won't have the basic necessities.

"Not going to have water for toilets or anything that uses water in your house, showers, that sort of thing," said Tollefson.

In some cases, if frozen pipes aren't thawed out, a bigger problem can arise because of the water expanding in the pipes.

"When the temperature gains 32 (degrees) and above, the water will thaw out, and of course, then you're going to have flooding issues,"said Tollefson.

One of the few things homeowners can do as a precaution is make sure pipes are completely insulated.

Also, inside your home, leave the faucets dripping water overnight. Flowing water is less likely to freeze.

As a friendly gesture, if you know your neighbor is out of town, try to check on their pipes and make sure they're not frozen.