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Deep freeze causing pipe bursts across W. Mich.

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The deep freeze is taking a toll on people's homes and wallets. Older buildings simply can't stand up to sub-zero temperatures. Pipes have been bursting all over West Michigan, creating a costly mess.

The onset of a freezing pipe can start at just 20 degrees. A Battle Creek plumber warns the biggest problem is an owner not shutting the water off as soon as they notice a problem.

Pipes burst at Nottingham Apartments early Thursday morning in Kalmazoo, as well as The Arbors in Battle Creek.

Not even the Kalamazoo post office was immune to a burst.

Bill Carpenter says he's been working 14 hour days since the deep freeze hit. The biggest headache can be the price tag.

"It's the water flooding basements or if the pipes above the ceiling thats where the cost gets high and the clean up and rebuilding," said Bill Carpenter, WKC Plumbing and HVAC.

Carpenter says exposed pipes outside will pass the cold all the way inside the house, through the pipes.

"And then that freezes and as water freezes expands the pipe and breaks," said Carpenter.

Those wind chills can quickly enter a house through the basement.

"When we get these wind chills it will try to enter the house so keep the house a little warmer I know it gets expensive but its cheap insurance compared to what could happen," said Carpenter.

He adds it never hurts to keep the water flowing at all times. The stream should be about a pencil width wide.