Plumbers getting countless calls over broken pipes

by: Aaron Diamant Updated:

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KENNESAW, Ga. —

After this week's frigid weather, Channel 2 Action News found out many newer homes in metro Atlanta just aren't built to stand up to the temperatures we've seen the last few days.

Channel 2's Aaron Diamant was in one Kennesaw neighborhood where homeowners saw lots of uninsulated pipes, and as things started to thaw out, more big leaks are showed up.

Diamant caught up with veteran plumber Jeff Markham working to pinpoint the leak that nearly forced Drew McMillan out of his home.

"It was like mayhem for like two minutes, but my wife actually cut off the water to the hot water heater, and I went outside to meter and cut off the water to the house," McMillan said, describing the leak.

Turns out, a half-inch copper pipe in the ceiling above McMillan's first floor bathroom froze up during this week's arctic blast.

"Very common on copper pipes. Copper will swell up when it freezes, and it just splits right down the middle," Markham said.

Markham says he's lost count of the number of calls like this that have kept him and other metro Atlanta plumbers working from sunup to sundown.

"The houses just aren't equipped for the cold weather like up north," McMillan said.

It didn't take long for crews to find the source of McMillan's trouble.

"A frozen pipe that explodes and you've got water gushing into your house, that's usually covered," said Justin Tomczak, with State Farm Insurance.

Tomczak says policyholders just need to act fast.

"They're going to want to file the claim, and they can have somebody come out and look it over and assess the damage, begin to make those repairs, and then we'll work it out and make sure they're taken care of and the claim is taken care of and paid and the customer is made whole."

A couple things that may not be covered: if an insurance adjuster finds evidence of a slow, long-term leak or damage from an outside water main break that floods your home.

Your best bet is to check your policy to see what coverage you have.