BALLARAT plumbers are being inundated with call-outs for frozen and bursting water pipes, with businesses saying they’re struggling to keep up with demand.
The crisis comes after freezing temperatures hit the region over the past week, with the mercury dropping as low as -4.5 degrees.
The Courier has also received several calls from concerned residents, including a number of pensioners, who said their insurance companies were sending plumbers from Melbourne due to a backlog in Ballarat.
Pipes can burst during freezing temperatures when the water inside freezes and expands, forcing the pipe to crack open.
Ballarat Emergency Plumbing owner Greg Quayle said he had responded to almost 150 call-outs for broken solar panels and frozen pipes in the past four days.
“Seventy to 80 per cent of those are for burst pipes due to the cold,” he said. “Obviously this occurs with the bad frosts ... the solar panels are the worst. They just can’t handle it.”
Mr Quayle refuted claims that plumbers were being sent from Melbourne to help out.
“That’s not true,” he said.
Meanwhile, The Plumbing Man owner Wayne Glover said he had never seen so many frozen pipes during winter.
“It literally hasn’t stopped for three days,” he said.
“Even today (Wednesday) I have had to knock back about 20 calls. Since late last week I would have had well over 100 call-outs.”
Mr Glover said it was generally older style homes with copper pipes that had issues with the cold.