Bursting pipes wreak havoc in City of Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — Look around the city and you can see the lingering impact of the weekend winter weather.

“From Friday evening to now, we’ve had over 300 calls,” said Jake Kicinski, who’s the vice president of operations for Southside Plumbing & Heating.

The phones at Southside Plumbing & Heating keep ringing, and it’s all for the same thing.

“Freezing and breaking doesn’t matter where you are — residential, commercial apartment buildings — there is no bias there,” Kicinski said.

Channel 11 followed a crew into an apartment building with water damage to multiple units. The first step was to find the break in the pipe.

“You might have to open wall … ceilings, stuff like that to expose the piping to make the repair. ... There might be multiple repairs, but you won’t know until you fix that one and go down the stream,” Kicinski said.

The crack was tiny, but mighty. The crew was able to replace the piping quickly, but that isn’t the case for all fixes.

“Obviously, Christmas, weekend, holidays — supply houses closed on Thursday, and they didn’t open up until Tuesday morning today, so we have had issues getting certain materials and equipment,” Kicinski said.

Kicinski said the hundreds of breaks are due to the wind and multiple days of below-freezing temperatures. Combine that with power outages and poor insulation, and it’s a perfect storm.

So, what do you do if you can’t get a plumber out to help for several days?

“Shut your water off. If you have an active water leak, shut your water off. I know it’s going to be inconvenient not having water, but that is going to prevent a lot of damage,” Kicinski said.

As these freezing temperatures have lasted for several days, plumbing companies are anticipating getting calls for the next several months, just from this past weekend.

Download the FREE WPXI News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Channel 11 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch WPXI NOW