MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — High winds, low temps and a weekend warm-up spell the perfect recipe for bursting pipes.

Metro plumbers say they’ve been working well into the night repairing frozen pipes, trying to beat the clock before this weekend’s warm-up.

“You hit 30 degrees, the sun comes out and starts thawing out your house, you’re going to have a mess…and that’s where the most damage comes from,” said Wayne Johnson of Minneapolis St. Paul Plumbing, Heating and Air.

That company helped Scott Moeller figure out what went wrong with his pipes after he came home to a frozen toilet, a sheet of ice in his bathtub and frost draped windows.

He said his home looked like “Frosty the Snowman’s apartment.” He also said he could hear what he believed were pieces of ice going through his boiler system.

“I was gone three weeks,” he said. “I came back from an 80 degree day in Florida to this.”

Minneapolis St. Paul Plumbing says the cold causes water to shrink and expand, and that then causes the holds that connect pipes — fittings — to loosen. Water then can fall out of the fittings.

Moeller is now looking at expensive repairs and weeks of work on his home.

“People don’t realize how destructive water is to a property,” Moeller said. “They think it’s going to be electricity, they think it’s going to be gas. No, it’s water.”

Want to know how to check your pipes?

Turn on your faucets. If you don’t have water, there’s a good chance you have frozen pipes.

The best thing to do in that situation is shut off your water at the main supply, and call your plumber.

After that, if water the is spotty when coming out, leave the faucet open for a while to see if it fixes itself. If not, again, call a plumber.


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