Deep Freeze Causing Frozen Water Supply Lines

Updated: 02/17/2014 12:59 PM By: Tim Sherno

Minnesota's prolonged deep freeze is responsible for freezing water lines under metro area homes.

Maggie Rose has lived in the same home in Lindstrom for 29 years. She says she's never had an issue with her water supply until late last week.

"Thursday morning I woke up at 7 a.m. and had no water," Rose said.

Rose said she was told the freeze is between her home and the city supply line and will need to be thawed at her expense.

"I haven't figured out how I was going to pay for it yet. So I couldn't have them come out. I'm on disability," she said.

Estimates for professional service to thaw a line depend on the length of the pipe and amount of time required to melt the ice and clear the line; it could cost anywhere from $200 to more than $1,000. Rose said she has an appointment with a plumber, but is trying to thaw the line herself with a space heater.

Jay Hall is the Utility Superintendent in Saint Louis Park. He says it is possible for a homeowner to thaw a line themselves, but only if the freeze is within 6 inches to a foot from the surface. Hall urges homeowners to have pipes thawed quickly because as the ice expands it can rupture the pipe.

For homes with water lines that are prone to freezing, Hall recommends keeping a small trickle of water on in a utility sink to keep water moving in the pipes and prevent freezing.

In Lindstrom, Maggie Rose says he wishes she had heard that advice sooner. "I found out the hard way," she said.