Last Autumn’s Early Freeze Could Make Outdoor Plumbing Spring a Leak

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Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Denver says sprinkler systems and outdoor faucets took a frosty beating last October and advises a plumbing inspection to ensure the garden and lawn plumbing is in Summer shape

It was so cold so early last October that it caught many homeowners before they had a chance to shut down and blow out their sprinklers and disconnect their hoses for winter

“If you don’t like the weather just wait 5 minutes” is a popular saying in Colorado, and for good reason: things can change quickly and extremes on either end can come with almost no warning. Such was the case with last October in Denver: the second-coldest October since records began in 1872, five days that either set or tied record-low temperatures, and one day that tied an all-time high for October.

The plumbing pros at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Denver follow these weather phenomena because they have a direct bearing on potential plumbing woes this spring.

“It was so cold so early last October that it caught many homeowners before they had a chance to shut down and blow out their sprinklers and disconnect their hoses for winter,” said Steve Jusseaume, head of the family that has owned Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Denver since 1978. “This May we have been seeing a lot of damage to outdoor plumbing and fixtures.”

For the record, last October the Denver area experienced 5 days where the low temperature tied or broke the all-time record, with lows of 17 degrees and 18 degrees on the 9th and 10th, respectively, both days beating the old record of 25 degrees. Also, a high of 26 degrees on the 10th beat the existing highest maximum temperature on that day by 9 degrees, set in 2005. Then, a high of 84 degrees was set on October 18th, tying the old mark set in 2003. And for good measure, from October 27 through the 29th the Denver area got chilly again and, with 15.3 inches of snowfall over three days, October 2009 became the snowiest for the month in the history of Denver.

Given the fickle Denver weather last autumn, Jusseaume recommends that homeowners have a qualified plumber inspect sprinkler system vacuum breakers and all outside faucets before the summer gets in full swing to insure that they are all working properly.

“The early quick frost, and then some unusually warm days last October are just the kind of extremes that lead to plumbing problems,” added Jusseaume. “Sometimes the problems are obvious, like a frozen pipe that bursts, but often weather extremes at the wrong time, like last October, will weaken pipes and fixtures and they will break later or operate at a sub-par level.”

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Denver doesn’t install sprinkler systems, but its plumbers are experts on the vacuum breakers that are at the heart of the water connection and the part of the system most susceptible to weather-related breakage. The company will inspect the breakers, fix any problems found and guarantee that they won’t freeze in the future.

Also guaranteed – for five full years – are any outside faucets Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Denver installs. The firm can replace or mend the faucets and connections, ensuring they won’t drip, burst or freeze in the future, although Jusseaume still recommends that hoses be disconnected before the first frost.

“The most common problems for outdoor fixtures are broken or bent faucets, frozen pipes, low water pressure to one faucet or another, and the need for a new outdoor faucet on the other side of the house,” said Jussaume. “Our licensed plumbers can handle any of these tasks quickly.”

Late May might seem late in the season to remind homeowners of freezing weather problems for plumbing, however the plumbing pros at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Denver – always the weather watchers – point out that as recently as three years ago the last frost of the season was in June – June 8th, 2007 to be exact.

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Denver has been family owned since its founding in the Denver Metro area in 1978, first as Deer Creek Plumbing and, since 2005, under the Ben Franklin banner. The firm offers complete residential plumbing services, including leak repairs, remodeling upgrades, home inspections, sewer service and many more core capabilities, with licensed plumbers. For more information and to schedule a guaranteed appointment call 1-866-PUNCTUAL (866-786-2882), 303-340-3400 or visit

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Kate Jusseaume
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