Demand high for plumbers as pipes begin to defrost

Updated: Feb. 18, 2021 at 4:11 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Most of Thursday Mudbug Plumbing technician Bill Hohensee spent most of his time at a business on Magazine Street with a pipe burst. Hohensee says aging infrastructure and this week’s freezing temperatures are a bad combination.

“This had a lot to do with old pipes, but the freeze is what made it bust,” Hohensee said, “with the water expanding in the freeze, it’s what caused the pipes to blow out.”

He says he is glad the burst is the only issue he’s dealing with because it could have been worse.

“If the contractor wouldn’t have been here to shut off the water, you would have had a big problem here, a lot of water coming through that two-inch water meter,” he said.

He and other plumbers are out servicing hundreds of people in the metro area as their pipes begin thawing out.

“We just keep running them, we’re working pretty late, everybody is putting in time,” Hohensee said.

“It’s kind of easy to forget about cold weather since we live here but when it does happen it can turn into such a catastrophe and cause so much money, why not spend that extra money now and prepare for the cold,” says Danny Griffin of Pipes ‘R’ Us.

Griffin says after 2018′s freeze, most homeowners fear a repeat and are better equipped. But he says people in raised homes will have to wait a little longer before crews can visit.

“Raised houses you don’t get the sunlight, you don’t get a lot of the heat that will come in,” Griffin explains. He says the pipes are hidden away with few options of quickly defrosting.

“All of the lines are full of ice and it’s going to act like a refrigerator,” Hohensee said.

Both say they need temperatures around 40 degrees for several hours before they can attempt any fixes.

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