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Plummeting Temperatures Cause Surge In Frozen Pipes Calls


Photo: James Vavrek

Neal Patzner works on a leaking pipe that connects to a sink.

Officials at the City of Bloomington Utilities say they’ve received more than 100 calls about frozen or broken pipes in the past couple of days, due to the extremely cold weather conditions.

Neal Patzner is the owner of Riverway Plumbing in Bloomington. He was on his sixth repair of the day when we met up with him. This visit was due to a leak caused by a frozen pipe.

“Usually, the day wakes up with the first person that gets up at 4am and realizes they can’t take a shower,” Patzner says.

While Patzner says it’s nice to have a bump in business around this time of year, he hates to see the amount of damage the freezes can cause.

“I never want to go in the house and realize that somebody’s house is flooded and busted pipes,” Patzner says. “It’s kind of sad to see some of these people cry and knowing that they got a big debt or big problem with a lot of things busted and water all over the house.”

Utility officials say it’s important to leave faucets dripping so that the running water prevents pipes from freezing easily. It’s also essential to leave heaters on and set to at least 60 degrees.

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