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Risk of pipes bursting

Chili, N.Y. -- As the region slowly warms from a deep freeze, weather-related problems persist.

"It's been everywhere," said Mark Polfleit, fire protection service manager for Ryan 24 Hour Emergency Service. "Attics, entrances to buildings, warehouses, everywhere you can imagine, we've seen piping freeze."

Sub-zero temperatures have taken their toll on metal and plastic piping in homes and businesses such as Chili's Legacy at Parklands senor living community.

"By the time I got in here, it was just pouring out," said Vynne-Jo Penoyer, director of Legacy Senior Communities. "My entire dining room was flooded."

Around noon Thursday, a sprinkler pipe had burst.

"The insulation fell in the attic, so basically it allowed cold air to infiltrate in the building so the piping failed," said Polfleit.

Generally, there are ways to prevent pipes from bursting simply by turning up the thermostat a few degrees.

Despite the fact ice may be thawing as temperatures rise in the days to come, plumbers said that will not help with frozen piping.

Once the weather warms up, were going to see more and more failures of the piping, were going to start getting into bigger more commercial buildings with the steel pipe, said Polfleit.

The pipes are bursting, Polfleit said because frozen water expands within the pipes, fittings break and as the weather warms, water begins to rush out of the pipes.

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Washington Times