Toilets are Literally Exploding in the Midwest

Unless you were on vacation last week, you probably noticed how cold it was in Pittsburgh. With the windchill, outside temperatures felt like -4 degrees or lower in some areas. As freezing as things got around “The Burgh” this week, we’ve got nothing on parts of the Midwest like Minnesota. Last week, temperatures plummeted -9 with a windchill of -45! That’s seriously cold. On top of normal cold weather plumbing issues like frozen pipes, some Minnesotans experienced frozen toilets that literally exploded.

Why Are Toilets Freezing?

Most of us know that water freezes at 32 degrees. However, it rarely gets that cold inside our homes. Pittsburghers are used taking precautions to make sure their pipes don’t freeze, but few of us probably ever worry about appliances. However, that’s a real concern when your dealing with temperatures that are colder than Antarctica!

You may have noticed that your cold water seemed a little, well, colder these past few days. As temperatures drop, the water in our main line pipes gets colder and colder. Some Minnesotans noted the water in their toilet bowls starting to ice over, while others fared far worse. After you flush and new water is pumped into the tank, it sits there until your next use. Apparently these tanks were so cold up north that the water literally froze, expanded and caused the porcelain to explode!

How to Keep Toilet Water from Freezing

While the coldest temperatures are behind us, you can take normal precautions to ensure your pipes and water don’t come close to freezing. Make sure all exposed pipes are insulated throughout the year. You can also leave sinks dripping to ensure water flows. This makes it much harder for the water to freeze inside of them.

If you’re really worried about water in your toilet freezing, flush it regularly to keep water flowing through the pipes. Again, this is a very rare occurrence, but as the old saying goes: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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