LAFD responds to 15 burst pipe calls

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By Carol A. Clark

Water pipes are bursting all over town and in White Rock due to the recent sustained frigid temperatures. Fire Marshal/Assistant Fire Chief Michael Thompson said from Dec. 30 through this morning, the Los Alamos Fire Department has responded to 15 calls related to pipes bursting from the below freezing weather.
Fuller Lodge, several apartment complexes and a number of buildings belonging to Los Alamos National Laboratory have been affected, Thompson said.
Roger Waterman owns the Hampton Inn in White Rock. He said a ceiling sprinkler froze on the third floor just before Thanksgiving that burst and released a flood of water.
“Four rooms on the fourth floor were soaked and four rooms on both the second and first floors were wet but sustained minimal damage,” Waterman said. “Because we have to meet Hilton standards in matching the carpeting, wallpaper and so forth in the 12 rooms, it will probably take another 60 days to finish the rooms.”
Thompson said that one thing people should do to avoid water pipe problems is maintain a good temperature in their home or business.
“Make sure the temperature is at 62 degrees or above. Secondly,  past problems are a warning sign — look for areas of exposure, especially around plumbing, and think about adding additional insulation.”
Thompson said there are likely many more burst pipes that have occurred in businesses and homes that LAFD was not called out on. Many times, the owners will call into the water department to have their water turned off while they repair their broken pipes.