By Chris Wright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- This cold weather has already left many northeast Oklahoma plumbers plagued with problems.

They say pipes are freezing, and they expect it get worse as temperatures remain below freezing.

Coming home to frozen pipes can make what promises to be a miserable week even more miserable, but experts say there are some simple steps you can take to avoid this added headache.

Jane McCullough and her family went out of town for three days. When they returned, they found their pipes frozen.

"Lived here 12 years, never had a problem. We didn't anticipate the cold weather," McCullough said.

Plumbers say the problem started in the water softener outside.

It's a common occurrence, and one Markwayne Mullin says can be avoided by leaving a faucet on.

"If you're inside the house, make sure you leave the faucet running. Not dripping. We want the real smallest stream you can get," Mullin said.

Mullin says the most common culprit during cold weather is actually your washing machine.

He recommends moving it away from the wall, so heat can reach the pipes behind it.

Then there are outside faucets. If your hose is still attached to one, it can cause all sorts of problems.

"This one was hooked up, and inside you can see the ice that has already formed," Mullin said.

Mullin and his plumbers expect to work around the clock during this cold spell, and believe that Monday was simply the beginning of a long week.

"We assume it's going to be like this all the way through. We haven't even hit the cold snap. It gets down to zero, we're going to be having a lot of issues, lot of issues," Mullin said.

Another big concern is the frost line, which is how deep the ground usually freezes. Plumbers say it's usually 18 inches in Tulsa.