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Cold temperatures can wreak havoc on water lines

Posted: Wed, Jan 3, 2018 9:32 AM

When the weather turns bitter, serious problems can occur -- problems like frozen water mains and bursting pipes.

City Water Superintendent Todd Ihde says he's gotten "quite a few calls" from homeowners worried about frozen water mains with the recent frigid temperatures. Ihde says water main problems don't usually occur until the water temperature is around 40 degrees -- and the latest reading had the temperature at 51 degrees

Decorah Library Director Kristin Torresdal says there were water main problems at the Decorah Public Library Tuesday.  Crews were called and the problem was fixed

Dale Elsbernd of Casper Plumbing and Heating says the pipes inside your home can freeze when the air temperature falls below 20°.  He shares the following suggestions to help keep pipes from freezing:

  • Leave the thermostat set at a constant temperature day and night.
  • Keep garage doors closed on an attached garage.
  • Open cabinets under sinks, both in the kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Let water drip from faucets on lines prone to freezing.
  • Seal cracks or holes near pipes where they run through walls.
  • Use heat tape if you suspect the pipes might freeze.
  • If your pipes do freeze, use a hair dryer or a heating pad to thaw them --  NEVER use an open flame!
"It's important to remember that frozen pipes can burst," says Elsbernd.  When in doubt, call a licensed plumber.