Calls ‘through the roof’ as plumbers deal with frozen, burst pipes in St. Louis area

ST. LOUIS — Dangerous cold temperatures continue in the St. Louis area Friday, and a wind chill warning remains in effect through Saturday noon.

The elements are tough for families to deal with, even more so for those grappling with the harsh reality of frozen or burst pipes.

A St. Ann apartment building in the 3700 block of Ashby had a burst pipe on Friday morning due to the extreme cold.

“Everything from the second floor to the basement is wet, the pipes burst,” said St. Ann’s Dan Clinton. “It’s a big problem, the first time it was the pipes right above the entrance, the front door where you come in. This is the sewage pipe to the toilets.”

Local plumbers were busy with calls for frozen pipes and burst pipes Friday afternoon.

“Calls have been through the roof and we’ve been very busy the past few days,” said Bill Arand of Roto-Rooter. “[Some for] normal blockages, but even this time of year there is a lot of sludge build-up and frozen pipes.”

Plumbers have a few tips for preventing burst pipes in freezing temperatures.

“Cover any exposed exterior walls,” Arand said. “Anything you can do to keep the wind off it will really make a big difference. Drain lines, same thing. If you can, open a cupboard door under your kitchen sink and use a small spray of water to keep the drain flowing.”

“Treat your drains well and use your wastebasket whenever you can,” says Mike Resetarits, a technician at Roto-Rooter. “Try to keep fat out there. No towels when going to the toilet, no women’s products. Only use the toilet as a toilet. And the more water you can run, the better off you’ll be, especially the older pipes.”

In addition, the severe weather alert that causes dangerously cold wind chills can cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes. Calls ‘through the roof’ as plumbers deal with frozen, burst pipes in St. Louis area

Sarah Y. Kim

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