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Extreme Weather Causes 15 Burst Water Pipes in Wellesley

Fire officials give tips on preventing frozen and bursting pipes.

While the remainder of the snow continues to melt, Wellesley Fire Department has been busy responding to calls about burst pipes.

“Since Friday, we’ve had 15 burst water pipes,” said Wellesley Fire Deputy Jeffrey Peterson. “It’s not uncommon when you get periods of this really, really cold weather.”

Peterson explained that often times frozen pipes go unnoticed. When a sudden spike in temperature happens, the pipes thaw and burst.

The burst pipes in town took place in residential homes and at Wellesley College. There was water damage, but not enough to put anyone out of their home.

“We’re pretty able to at least figure out where the water is coming out of, then we can usually isolate where the burst pipe is and shut the water off to that section,” Peterson said.

Officials urge residents to be safe when trying to thaw out pipes.

“One of the most important things is, if you want to try to thaw your pipes, just don’t use open flames,” Peterson said.

If you use something like a blowtorch, it can cause the water to heat up too quickly and result in the pipes exploding. It could also cause a fire in the wall. Instead, Peterson suggests using a hair dryer as the heat isn’t as extreme.

To prevent the freezing of pipes, Peterson recommends insulating them. On outside spigots, shut the water off and let it drain out. If you have pipes that run along uninsulated outside walls you can crack the faucet so water keeps dripping through it.

In case of an emergency, you may also contact Wellesley Fire Department at 781-235-1300.

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