Homeowner deals with a bad water line break

Wednesday, December 7th 2005, 12:46 pm
By: News On 6

A Tulsa family got a bad break, their house flooded because of a ruptured water line. This is a very common type of call to plumbers this time of year.

News on 6 Reporter Emory Bryan says it happens all the time, though this example is one of the worst we've seen of damage caused by a pipe rupturing in a home.

Frank Colburn has kept his sense of humor, even though he's in the middle of a small disaster. "We pulled up in the driveway and I asked why wife, where is all this water coming from that's in the driveway?" Susan Colburn opened the door to a mess. "Opened the door to 2 to 3 inches of mud in the living room."

The mud was bubbling up in a bedroom, the water was gurgling in a closet. The water line to the house ruptured under the slab and flooded the home.

The air vents in the slab filled with mud. Frank Colburn: "I don't know if something shifted, or what." The carpeting and all the floor covering for the Colburn’s home was piled out in front of the home.

They know insurance will cover much of their losses, but figure they're still going to be on the hook for quite a bit of money. Clark Daywalt with Purified Restoration:” It was a nasty job, first time I've had to shovel it out.” Emory Bryan: "There was that much in there?" Clark Daywalt: "There was that much in there."

Normally this time of year, pipes rupture because of freezing weather, but this one might have come from dry weather, as the soil pulled apart. Whatever the cause - the result is about the same - a big mess. Frank Colburn: "You don't realize how much stuff you have until you have to move it real quick."

The more common problem of frozen pipes can be avoided by leaving them dripping. For pipes in the ground that might be pulled apart by dry soil, there's not much to do at this point.