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Heating, plumbing companies busy with calls for service during hard freeze

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JEFFERSON PARISH, LA (WVUE) -

Some plumbing and heating companies received call after call for service because people on the South Shore were not prepared for this freeze.

Pipes "R" Us Owner Danny Griffin said they received more than 20 calls Tuesday morning about frozen pipes, and six of them have been burst pipes.

"We have to wait for it to thaw out to see where they're burst, where they're leaking so basically right now if you're calling and saying your pipes are frozen, it's not a good idea to have a plumber come out until it starts defrosting," Griffin said.

For those with frozen pipes, Griffin said it's a good idea to turn water on even if it's just a trickle to get it flowing.

He said older galvanized pipes are harder to repair, and tend to burst along with copper pipes because they don't expand when water freezes, while plastic pipes are more flexible.

Because the South Shore hasn't had cold temperatures in a while, he said people have been less prepared.

"People do get lax because we haven't had a freeze in such a long time, and they aren't insulating their pipes and running water so that's going to cause it to freeze," Griffin said.

Francisco Christian woke up to shower to find out he had no running water.

"When I came outside, I found out that the pipe was busted and it was spraying, so not only was part of it spraying but we were also losing water as well," Christian said.

He said he's lived in his Lakeview home for three years, and this is the first time his pipes have burst.

"Since we've moved here from San Diego, this is the coldest it's been," Christian said.

Which is why he said he didn't prepare his pipes for this cold weather.

"We've been more worried about the 110 degrees and 100 percent humidity. Never worried about freezing and getting below 32 degrees," Christian said.

Fortunately, Christian was only out of water for a few hours.

"We're out here fixing some water lines on the outside of the house due to the freeze, and people aren't really starting to notice them until it starts defrosting," Griffin said.

Heating technicians also said they've been getting a lot of calls about broken heaters because they've been continuously running in this weather. 

"They're continuously calling, coming in as we speak. So it's really cold outside, and the heaters are running a lot, it's putting a very heavy load on the heaters," Technician Johnny Lanoue said.

Lanoue advises cleaning air filters to keep heaters from breaking down.

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