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Pipes freeze and burst in Okanagan buildings amid cold snap

Click to play video: 'Pipes Bursting due to Freezing Temperatures' Pipes Bursting due to Freezing Temperatures
WATCH: Several Okanagan buildings are dealing with frozen pipes as temperatures are still below zero – Dec 29, 2021

Numerous buildings have had pipes freeze and burst amid the frigid temperatures still lingering throughout the Okanagan.

In just the past 24 hours close to a dozen calls have been made to Kelowna Fire Department regarding frozen pipes, according to platoon Capt. Corrie Lang.

“We are finding with the older residences and homes, that the older houses have water lines running on exterior walls without insulation so that is where most of the problems are happening,” said Lang

Read more: B.C. weather: Extreme cold, Arctic outflow warnings continue for most of province

Pipes in Kelowna’s courthouse froze overnight, and the same thing happened at an apartment building in the 200 Block of Bernard Avenue.

Interior Health also confirmed Cottonwoods Care Centre suffered a similar situation.

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“A sprinkler in a non-resident area at Cottonwoods froze and ruptured today; the area is cordoned off for drying and repairs. Resident care has not been impacted,” the Interior Health statement said.

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Meanwhile, a popular Peachland, B.C. restaurant has had to close after pipes froze there.

“We regret to say that we have to close for the next little while due to a frozen sprinkler pipe that burst during the night and flooded the entire building,” Gasthaus on the Lake Pub posted to Facebook.

The Peachland fire department responded to that call and said, “there was a fair amount of damage.”

“We did forced entry. We knew we had a burst pipe, so we forced entry and turned the sprinkler system off,” said Peachland Fire Chief Dennis Craig.

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According to Kelowna’s fire captain, it is not bizarre to have this many pipes burst during this time of year.

“We did get quite a few calls but not more than we were expecting for these kinds of temperatures,” said Lang.

If you are experiencing frozen pipes, reach out to a professional like a plumber or restoration company and be cautious with how you choose to thaw your pipes, he added.

“We want to recommend as far as prevention to be careful with space heaters. If you have a frozen pipe, don’t use a blowtorch to (thaw) it,” said Craig.

“Try to raise the temperature or use a hairdryer but blowtorches will damage the plastic pipe and could cause a fire.”

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