FROZEN PIPES: Three Weeks Without A Water Supply

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The brutal winter is costing some homeowners big bucks and big problems.

Dozens of homeowners in and around Marshalltown have been without water for more than three weeks.   One neighborhood is taking a proactive approach to the ongoing problem.

“We’ve been waiting it out,” said homeowner Russell Watt.

Watt’s been without water for three weeks.

“It is frustrating, you spend a lot of time going to the store, buying bottled water and going out of the house to take a shower,” Watt said.

One week after his pipes froze; a neighbor came to the rescue.

“My neighbor got the idea of putting an outdoor hose to the outdoor faucet and putting a heater coil around it.  There are three of us in the neighborhood that are doing that,” Watt said.

The water is then reversed into Watt’s home and through his water heater, making some everyday tasks much easier.

“We can wash and do the dishes and all the other things we weren’t able to do for about a week,” Watt said.

Watt is currently on a waiting list for someone to come out a fix his frozen pipes.

Rod Clouser is an Ames plumber and fixes problems like these.  He says he’s been plenty busy this winter.  Clouser bought a water jet machine for frozen pipes just two weeks ago and has already visited 50 homes in seven cities trying to keep up with demand.

“They’re just all over, wherever we can get it and get it done.  We do as many as we can do and everybody just has to wait,” Clouser said.

The de-icing machine like Clouser’s is rare for plumbers to cary and in Clouser’s 35 years in business, he says he’s never run into frozen pipes like this year.

“Worst I’ve seen, no doubt.  Never seen anything like it,” Clouser said.