Why are so many pipes bursting? Here’s what one metro plumber says

It seems like hundreds of metro Atlanta families have had to deal with bursting water pipes during this holiday cold snap.

Channel 2′ s Dave Huddleston learned that our building codes and otherwise warm climate may play a role.

Huddleston spoke with the owner of a plumbing company who said there are two reasons we don’t insulate our pipes the way they do in other parts of the country.

At City Wide Plumbing in Acworth, owner David Johnson is talking about the nonstop phone calls since Friday.

He has 10 plumbing crews and all of them are running from one service call to the next.

“You feel guilty -- every call -- you feel guilty because I can’t be there until Thursday,” Johnson said.

Johnson told Huddleston that most calls are for busted pipes from our extremely cold temperatures. And he said it’s going to get worse.


“When they’re frozen, you may not have water. But at least it’s not going all over your house. When it starts thawing, you got water coming out where it’s not supposed to be coming out of,” Johnson said.

Johnson said there are a couple of reasons metro Atlanta is seeing so many pipes bursting and breaking.

“We don’t have our pipes insulated like you do up north. We don’t encapsulate our homes the way you do up north. You guys make houses tight. We’re down here -- we got humidity and things like that. If we make our houses too tight, you got mold,” Johnson said.

He says there’s not much we can do about the building codes, but we can insulate our pipes for winter.

“If you have outside pipes on the outside walls, those are the ones you need to be careful of. Wrap all your outside faucets, the ones outside. If you got a yard hydrant that sticks up out of the ground, wrap those,” Johnson said.

He told Huddleston to let your faucets drip water during the colder temperatures to keep the water flowing.

Johnson said it’s better to pay an extra $20 on your water bill than $800 for a busted pipe.