Orange’s plumbers have been run off their feet with requests to fix burst water pipes after the near-record low temperatures of the weekend left residents with water spraying into gardens, roofs and even interiors.
Lindfield Group plumber Matt Lindfield said he and his five other plumbers had spent most of Monday running around the city responding to nearly 50 call-outs, which followed 12 on Sunday morning.
By way of comparison, he said on most days he responded to one or two bursts at most.
“We had a similar run three years ago where it was three or four days where it dropped to -6, -8 degrees, which is what’s happening now,” Mr Lindfield said.
“It hasn’t dropped that low since then.”
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Mr Lindfield, who has been plumbing for three decades, said the best way to avoid burst pipes was to turn the water mains off at night, with an outdoor hose left running to relieve pressure.
“Obviously pipes are bursting overnight and people don’t notice until 9.30 or 10.30 the next morning.”
That was exactly what happened to Mady June, who lives in Lucknow.
“We woke up to the sound of running water, and found our hot water system pipes had burst, and … it was spraying our yard and our neighbour’s,” she said.
VIDEO: Mady June’s burst pipes ...
“Our pipes are usually frozen of a morning but it was enough to burst it this time.”
She said her home’s pipes had burst “five or six” times last year, ending up with interior damage to the house and shed.
“Last year our pipes burst while we were camping. We got a message from our neighbours telling us our pipes had burst,” she said.
“We got home and water was running for well over a day and a bit, it ended up seeping through a window and staining paint.”
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Another unfortunate victim of burst pipes was Luke Brown, who had severe water damage to his kitchen.
“I was sitting outside about 9.30am (on Sunday) enjoying the sunshine and all of a sudden heard a waterfall,” he said.
“I ran inside to where all the water was coming out of the exhaust fan and there was a lot of water coming in.”
Mr Brown had to spend Monday at home letting tradespeople in and out of his house and monitoring three huge fans that were drying out his roof.
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“So far it’s only damage to the gyprock, bit of structural damage to the wall, but so far there’s no structural damage,” he said.
“It was a crack in a hot water pipe and was only an inch long but, that’s all it needs.”
According to www.weatherzone.com.au, the temperature will plummet again on the weekend, with minimum temperatures of -3 degrees (Saturday) and -4 degrees (Sunday) forecast.