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Plumbing company receives many calls for service about burst water pipes

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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

Some people woke up with no hot water because of broken pipes.

"When I went downstairs to have a cup of coffee and to clean my pot, I noticed the hot water wasn't running," said Dolores Freeman.

Freeman's neighbor told her a stream of water was spilling out of her home's pipes. She's one of the lucky ones who was able to get ahold of a plumbing company.

"When we find a freeze, we basically find pipes that are exposed outside, that the customer did not run his water," Beep Me Plumbing & Heating Owner Benny Council said.

Council has more than 30 years experience in the plumbing business. He says the best way to keep pipes from bursting is by insulating them and and running a pencil thin thread of both hot and cold water when temperatures reach 26 to 29 degrees.

If pipes are frozen, Council recommends opening the outside hose to release some pressure from the pipes.

Just Wednesday morning, he said they've gotten 25 calls. 

"We had trucks in the French Quarter, we got trucks dispatched to Metairie, and we got trucks dispatched in the city, but it's been hard getting around because all of the bridges are closed, and the employees are still trickling into work as the bridges open up," Council said.

Most of their repairs are on galvanized and copper pipes.

"Copper pipes will bust, but they will not tear the whole pipe up," Council said.

They replaced the broken portion of the copper pipe with a PEX pipe, which should last better in freezing temperature.

"If it busts, it'll bust in the fittings it would not bust in the pipes," Council said.

Council says he's never seen a winter this bad. 

"You've got some old timers probably could tell you more stories but this is the coldest one I can see and what I worry most is the individual that can't afford this broken pipe," Council said.

That's a cost Freeman is hoping to avoid in the future .

"Making sure that all of my pipes are insulated, even the ones I have probably neglected, I wasn't able to reach, I'll get someone to insulate it for me so I wouldn't have to do the same thing over again," Freeman said.

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