A busy day for Hampton Roads plumbers

WAVY/Larry Carney
WAVY/Larry Carney

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Dropping temperatures this week have caused a casualty at John Powell’s Chesapeake home — his plumbing.

A puddle of water now covers his garage floor after his water pipes froze.

“Well, we woke up this morning and went to take a shower and noticed there was no water pressure in the house,” he said. “So as I walked around the house, I heard a loud gushing noise. Came outside in my garage and noticed that the water was pouring out from behind the wall.”

Powell  called out Portsmouth Plumbing’s Don Wilfong to take a look. Behind the wall, Wilfong found the problem: “And it’s busted in the wall. It’s good about here to about there. All that section is going to have to be replaced.”

Within 15 minutes, he grabbed and replaced a two-foot section of pipe.

“All we do is go back, find where the bad pipe ends at, cut that, put it in and put it back inside the wall,” Wilfong said.

Wilfong said the busted pipe is actually preventable: “he had a valve here. Had he known about it, could have cut that off, turned outside faucet on and let the water drip out. And the next thing is, he needs to insulate that pipe.”

This experience has taught Powell a lesson.

“Well, now that I know that this is the valve to cut the outside off, I’m going to leave it off the rest of the wintertime until I need the outside faucet, and I mean we’ll do that next time so it doesn’t freeze and bust again.”

He said it could have been worse and is thankful it was in the garage and not in the house.

Just as Wilfong was about to wrap up things, he got a phone call: “Got a leak in the wall. I’m in Great Bridge right now. Can I call you back when I can write you down?”

Another repair job on a busy day for a plumber.

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