A blast of super-cold Arctic air can wreck havoc on lots of things. Cars won't start, streets crack, and the Falls freeze. The cold can also ruin your plumbing. The sneaky cold air can strangle your home's water supply, and maybe help create your very own basement pool.

Years ago one very cold January morning I got up to use the toilet. I flushed and nothing happened. The water was gone and didn't comeback. Our pipes were frozen! We didn't leave a faucet dripping overnight and were paying the price. Luckily, this discovery was made before that frozen water expanded and burst a pipe and I was able to fix it. If you find yourself in the same situation what should you do?

Well, first remember to try and avoid the problem altogether:

  • Leave all water taps slightly open so they drip continuously.
  • Keep the indoor temperature warm.
  • Improve the circulation of heated air near pipes. For example, open kitchen cabinet doors beneath the kitchen sink.

If it's too late for that stuff there are somethings to do next.

  • First, put away that torch. Just don't use any open flame.
  • Open the taps to help get water flowing.
  • Instead try the thaw the pipes slow with a hair dryer.

If the pipe does burst, turn off the water supply to the house and then it's time to call a plumber.

Here's a couple of videos with more information.

Check out this interesting report from CBS News:

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