A home in Fargo, North Dakota, recently flooded after a pipe burst in an upstairs bathroom, according to local NBC affiliate KVLY. The homeowners were away and although they left the heat turned on, the system broke and caused a pipe to burst.
Assistant Fargo Fire Chief Larry Schuh said the frigid air caused the toilet tank to freeze, expand and crack, causing the flood. He said this serves as a reminder to residents to leave their heat on and shut off their water if they are away for extended periods of time. The fire department told the source that water may have been leaking for several days. Firefighters had to clean up the ceiling that collapsed – including the sheetrock and insulation that fell with it – and vacuum up the water.
Families who are leaving for extended periods of time can prevent frozen pipes by setting the thermostat to no lower than 55 degrees and asking someone to check the house daily to make sure it's warm enough to prevent freezing pipes. They should also shut off and drain the water system and deactivate any sprinkler systems.