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Bitterly cold temperatures keep plumbers busy dealing with burst pipes: “Calls really start to flood in”

Milestone Plumbing

PEWAUKEE -- The cold sweeping across the Midwest, is causing an influx of calls to plumbers. The wind chill advisory expired at noon, but still, Wednesday, December 27th was a busy afternoon for Milestone Plumbing as the cold sticks around.

The company responded to more than 20 calls, and even more customers had to be turned away. Kevin Poppie was one of 10 employees working to make repairs.

FOX6 tagged along as service experts responded to burst pipes at a four-condo complex in Pewaukee. Plumbers found two pipes that burst inside a closet that is supposed to stay warm -- due to a heater inside.

"It stopped working at some point over the last 24 hours and just unfortunately froze and broke in two spots that we know of," Jessie Cannizzaro, Milestone Plumbing owner said.

Milestone Plumbing

Milestone Plumbing

Milestone Plumbing

They said because the pipes were located so close to the outdoors, coupled with the fact that a heater broke inside that room, the extreme cold became too much.

"Normally in a home, you have a water line that comes inside and is protected. Below ground and below the freeze line is where the water line is," Cannizzaro said.

In Pewaukee, the water flooded the driveway, but it can often be much worse.

Jessie Cannizzaro

Cannizzaro told FOX6 several straight days of cold can be a water pipe's enemy.

"Even (Tuesday), with it being extremely cold, it wasn't cold for long enough really to penetrate the inside of homes. We had a couple freeze-up calls (Tuesday), but (Wednesday) is when we really got hit," said Jessie Cannizzaro, with Milestone Plumbing Inc. "Usually takes a couple of days as a really extreme cold before it penetrates to get into those water lines -- and then the calls and really start to flood in. It depends on how bad of a leak and how quickly people can catch it."

What should you do?

Experts advise keeping the heat on and opening up cabinet doors beneath sinks. Keep a slow trickle of water going, but only do so if you're home and can monitor it.