By Paul Kurtz

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (CBS) — Despite warmer weather coming to our area, plumbers expect to be busy this weekend handling frozen pipe emergencies.

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They’re like liquid time bombs, ready to go off.  Cherry Hill-based plumbing specialist Tom Hutchinson says that with recent temperatures getting down to about 11 degrees, pipes in many homes have already frozen.  The trouble, he says, will come as those pipes thaw.

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“The temperature rises, the ice is gonna melt,” he explains.  “And once the ice melts, that water is gonna start flowing again and then you’re going to have the leak.  So the warm-up is when we typically see an uptick in service requests, because now folks know they have a problem.”

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If you find or suspect a frozen pipe before the warmer weather arrives, there’s still a chance to avoid disaster.  Experts recommend turning off the main water valve to the house and opening the faucets.  Then, warm the pipe with a gentle heat source.  Or, says Hutchinson, call a plumber.