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Economy and Business

Broken pipes are a messy, expensive problem
This winter's bitter cold left many homeowners with a big problem: Frozen pipes.

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Spring’s just around the corner, with many residents hoping the days of polar vortexes and cold snaps are behind them, especially those who suffered frozen and ruptured pipes. For Ohio Public Radio, WCPN's Brian Bull reports.
LISTEN: Big expense and business in bursting pipes

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A cracked pipe often leads to a cracked pocketbook, as torrents of water can cause thousands of dollars in damage to basements and other parts of the home.

Paul Abrams is with Roto-Rooter, headquartered in Cincinnati. Looking back at one of the most intense winters in recent memory, he says the first week of January was its most profitable in the company’s history.

“On the flip side, it didn’t allow us to do things that we normally do, like hydro-jetting and sewer line excavations," Abrams said. "It was just too cold to subject our people to that and some of the equipment would freeze up, so we were a little concerned about it. But in the end, we had a terrific winter as far as profitability’s concerned.”

Abrams says his company averaged 40,000 calls versus the average 24,000 during that week, and revenue was more than $8 million. That was a record breaker that exceeded all previous weekly revenues by more than a million dollars.  But often times demand was greater than theplumbing specialists could handle.

Looking ahead to spring, Abrams says homeowners should keep their sump pumps in working order because that’s a prime time for flooding.

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