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Tips On Saving Your Pipes, Boilers From Freezing Cold Temperatures

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Below freezing temperatures can make a huge mess in homes.

Broken pipes and boilers are keeping plumbers busy and the work is often costly, CBS2's Matt Kozar reported.

John Lange's boiler quit after going strong for 30 years.

"It was down to like to 50 this morning," he said.

Unfortunately for Lange, who is caring for his 87-year-old cancer-stricken mother, it happened during a deep freeze.

"I figured I could get through the winter with it, but unfortunately with the coldest day..." he said.

Plumber Frank Belizario said homeowners are pushing their older boilers to the limits when they really should be replacing them.

"They try to extend the life of their boiler for one more season," he said. "What happens is the weather is so cold, they have to crank up there boilers a lot hotter and the boilers tend to fail."

Despite the brutal winter last year, plumbers say they're busier this season because of the deep freeze.

"By the time they get home at night, it heats and thaws and the pipes pop," said Peter Grotto, with Grotto Plumbing.

Grotto has a staff of around three dozen plumbers and said all are busy working jobs throughout Westchester County.

"(What's your recommendation to folks as to what they should be doing?) They have to raise the thermostat. They have to raise it up the next couple of days by two or three degrees. Throughout the night, leave it on," Grotto said.

An hour after Lange's service call, he got his new boiler. It will cost him thousands, but he said he has no choice.

"(This is an emergency situation for you?) Pretty much, yes," he said.

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