Updated February 2022.
During last weekend’s snowstorm, we woke up to a 58-degree house. Brrr! Turns out we had run out of oil. And no oil = no heat. And, thanks to the snow outside, we couldn’t get an oil delivery for at least 48 hours. So in addition to keeping ourselves warm, our primary concern was making sure our plumbing pipes didn’t freeze and burst while we waited. Since that incident, we’ve learned a few things about frozen pipes, so in this post we’re going to cover:
- What to do to keep your water pipes from freezing in a cold weather emergency
- What you can do to prevent frozen pipes before the winter season
- What you can do if your pipes do freeze
So let’s start with the predicament that we described above: what to do during a cold-weather emergency.
How To Help Stop Your Pipes From Freezing
Emergency Tip #1: Keep Your House Warm, If Possible
Our first goal was to heat our home as much as possible using whatever other heating sources we could. We couldn’t just crank up the thermostat and didn’t own a portable space heater. Luckily, we did have a gas fireplace that worked off a separate propane tank – and it was plenty full, phew! So we cranked it up to keep both us and at least one room of our home heated.
Emergency Tip #2: Close Off Non-Essential, Non-Plumbing Rooms
To make sure the heat from the fireplace wasn’t being wasted on unnecessary spaces, we closed doors to places like bedrooms, the home office, and various closets. But we were sure to leave doors open to rooms with plumbing, aka the bathrooms and the kitchen (which was open to the den already). This way the heat was being directed into the areas that had water pipes and therefore needed it most.
NOTE: If you have any plumbing in your garage, be sure to keep the garage doors closed to keep that area as warm as possible too.
Emergency Tip #3: Open Cabinet Doors
To further help the heat make its way to our pipes, we opened any kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanity doors with plumbing in it – like the ones beneath our kitchen sink. This further exposes the plumbing in your home to warm air and helps prevent freezing. So yes, this means you will literally have your cabinet doors wide open for a little while.
Emergency Tip #4: Leave A Trickle Of Water Running
If your house gets down to below 50 degrees, you may want to run the water to keep it moving. Moving water is less likely to freeze than stagnant water, so running your sinks can buy you time. It doesn’t need to be much so just open your faucets slightly – this includes bath tubs and showers also – to let a steady drip of water come through your pipes.
Emergency Tip #5: Apply Makeshift Insulation
If there are particular pipes at risk of freezing, you can do your best to “insulate” them from the cold air by wrapping towels or blankets around especially cold areas. This may be hard to do for a large number of pipes, but could make a helpful difference under a sink or an exposed area in your garage or basement.
These five steps are helpful if you find yourself in an emergency situation like we were in, but in later years we learned some important additional steps that can help prevent a last-minute panic (while also helping protect the pipes outside the heated parts of your home).
How To Prepare For & Prevent Frozen Pipe Emergencies
If you live in an area that’s prone to freezing temperatures or you know a winter storm is headed your way, there are some things you can do ahead of time to protect your pipes from freezing. We experienced sub-freezing temperatures at our beach house, which had the added stress of being a 2-hour drive away – so we weren’t always around to take emergency measures like opening a faucet or cranking up the heat. This is where we learned some important preventative measures.
So here are some additional steps we took to help prevent freezing pipes:
Prevention Tip #1: Insulate Exterior Pipes
We learned the hard way (aka, in the midst of a blizzard) that the plumbing in our crawl space wasn’t properly insulated. We hired a local contractor to take care of it for us, but it’s a task you can do yourself. Identify your water supply lines – these may be in a basement, crawl space, attic, or even on the exterior of your home – and cover them with foam insulation like foil-backed pipe wrap insulation or self-sealing foam insulation tubes. The Home Depot and The Spruce have helpful guides for insulating your own pipes.
BONUS: Insulating your pipes is a great energy-efficient improvement year-round too, not just when you’re trying to prevent freezing.
Prevent Tip #2: Turn Off The Main Supply
Since we didn’t live at our beach house full time, we always turned off the main water supply when we weren’t in town. Basically we “winterized” our house anytime we left. Our water shutoff valve was located in a box in the ground, but yours may be in a closet or garage or even near your water meter. This wasn’t just to prevent freezing in the winter, but also to give us peace of mind about leaks year-round (pipes can still burst or rupture in the summer!). By turning off the main supply, we would at least minimize the amount of water that could flow into the house if a leak were to occur.
NOTE: We learned from our plumber that it’s also important to release the water pressure for this to help prevent frozen pipes from bursting. This means that after you shut off the water, open a faucet, flush a toilet, or drain a hose for a few seconds to empty some of the standing water in the pipes. This will create space in your pipes so that if they were to freeze, they can expand without actually bursting the pipes.
It was actually a flushed toilet that saved our pipes in the blizzard pictured above!
Prevent Tip #3: Install A Smart Water Monitoring Device
Another way to increase your peace of mind is to install a water monitoring device or leak detection alarm like the ones made by Moen. We had the Flo by Moen monitor installed at our beach house which no only allowed us to turn off the water main from our phones, but also helped alert us to unusual water use – like if there was a leak. While this won’t stop a pipe from bursting, it can help you minimize the damage caused by one by notifying you of a problem you might not be able to see with your own eyes. It also will automatically turn the water off when a problem is detected, meaning it can intervene on your behalf before you even know something went wrong.
How To Deal With Frozen Pipes
We’ve been lucky enough to never deal with frozen pipes ourselves, but you can usually tell something is wrong if water doesn’t flow from a particular faucet (or maybe it just drips or trickles out). So here’s what you can do to try to remedy the situation before the weather improves or before you’re able to have a plumber assist with any leaks or issues.
- Make sure the pipe hasn’t already burst elsewhere, like in a wall, ceiing, crawl space, or basement. Listen for dripping and check for visual signs of a leak. If it has, turn off the water immediately and contact a plumber.
- Keep the faucet open, since moving water will help thaw the pipe better than standing water (plus it will help you monitor if the problem gets better or worse).
- Apply heat to the section of pipe with a hair dryer, space heater, or even an electric heating pad to melt the frozen area. You can even use towels soaked in hot water. Just don’t use anything with an open flame.
You can also find additional advice for dealing with frozen pipes from the Red Cross and Consumer Reports.
So there a few things you can do before you have a problem with frozen pipes. Here’s sending you warm wishes and smoothly flowing pipes!
Stephanie B says
We ran out of oil twice in the past month. It was a landlord issue. All I can say is thank heavens for electric blankets. We were super warm in our cold bedroom!
Amos Chipotle says
Yes we simply lit a small fire in a tea kettle with old newspapers and Kingsford charcoal left over from the summer time cookouts. This kept the house warmer until the oil delivery man came and heat was restored. God Bless.
My family lived in an old farmhouse for 10 YEARS that didn’t have central heat or A/C. Or cable. My parents are adventurous, to say the least. It was all wood-burning stove and gas fireplaces for us, with occassional electric heaters when it got super-cold. To this day, a regular heat pump does nothing to warm my toes — there’s nothing as warm as a wood fireplace!
Brandi H. says
I haven’t, but my mother has. Her house is very old, and has a lot of drafts from old windows. Get’s cold quick. Her pipes froze this winter. She had no water for a couple days, luckily grandmother lives close by, but never the less, very frustrating. She actually called out the plumbers who had to crawl under the house, while it was 10 degrees outside, and the poor guy had to lay under there while holding something against the pipes to warm it up. Mom said he was under there about an hour!! Ouch. Can we say frostbite. Anyway, good to hear you stayed warm, and had some fun while doing so! At the moment, I am having fun reading all of your archives. If you don’t mind, I am going to steal your paint colors. Love them. My kitchen is becoming gentle tide. Now if only I can find such a good deal on some SS appliances. :) Here’s to hoping.
two winters ago an ice storm took down a bunch of trees and power lines – leaving us without power (and heat!) for almost a week. by the 2nd or 3rd day our apt was too cold for us and our pets to stay in it so we packed up and moved ourselves, 2 dogs, and 2 cats to a hotel. it is very difficult to find a hotel that will allow you to bring pets! before we left the house we made sure all of the faucets were slightly on to keep the water running and prevent the pipes from bursting. we also put a lot of our cold food outside since our fridge wasn’t on. Even though it was cold in our house, it wasn’t cold enough to keep the food from going bad. When the electricity/heat finally turned back on, we went back home only to discover that someone had taken all of the food off of our back porch! oh-well, they probably needed it more than we did…
as a side note, we keep our house at about 62* all winter so sadly 58* doesn’t sound that cold to me :-P gas heat is expensive!
We had the same issue, only our heat is gas and the igniter died. Fortunately, our guy was able to come that afternoon but in the meantime:
I retreated to our third-floor bedroom and sealed myself in there with a space heater.
I kept a winter coat, hat, and gloves by the door for when I needed to go into the rest of the house.
I did loads upon loads of laundry I’d been slacking on — I’m actually kind of glad the heat died. It gave me an excuse to do it.
well, I am from Nova Scotia, and we are king of the ice storms which bring down power lines and knock out electricity often. We had a big snowstorm in November 2004 which knocked out power for a few days. I got prepared by keeping a basket of candles, matches, flashlights, batteries, battery-operated radio and wipes in a basket in the front hall closet. Like you, when we ran out of oil, we had a propane fireplace to warm up, but NEVER let your gas tank run out!! We would cook on the BBQ, keep drinks and food cold in the snow and break out the board games to play by candle light….kinda fun for a few days….
There’s been a huge oil shortage in Europe. Russia has been cutting back on who they’ve been supplying this winter. We are lucky that Germany is high on the list for getting oil, unlike many smaller countries.
It’s made us hugely aware of our consumption, even in our tiny tiny place of 480 square feet.
Where I grew up in the US, it was often -50. Dang! Your 58 degrees sounds so cozy… which I know it still totally WAS NOT!
We lost power here in Richmond during the snow for 2 nights and the house was freezing. (We’ve had worse–once it was 4 nights, years ago during an ice storm…!) My husband was ready to go to a hotel. We have 2 little kids now so thankfully we were able to stay at my parents’ house. I always panic about the pipes freezing and bursting–this time a friend told us we need to turn our water off and drain the pipes so they don’t burst and flood the house. Then I asked our irrigation guy (who winterizes our sprinklers and is familiar with our water pipe situation), and our neighbor who grew up in Vermont. They both said we didn’t need to worry about it unless it was very very cold for an extended period of time. The next time we have a plumber come out I’m going to ask him and also make sure I absolutely know how to turn off the water if I had to (something which I know anyway…) I did know about letting the faucets drip like you mentioned, but your other suggestions were helpful too, thanks!
Use caution with this one…but you could turn on your oven and open the oven door.
We have radiant hot water heat. I heard the boiler go out at 8pm when it was negative 8 degrees outside. The replacement part wouldn’t arrive for at least 36 hours. Thanks to our type of heat, we didn’t even feel much of a temperature drop until 24 hours later. For once I was grateful for the slow warm up/cool down.
we live in the country and things havent changed here in a hundred years…including the transformers to the main electric lines into our town. sooo, when the wind blows, the power goes out…for everyone. so we cant even go to a neighbors house for heat, a.c, water, dinner…
many people have backup generators (no electric is a frequent occurence, sometimes for days). We FINALLY got one last week, but it still needs to be hooked up to the house.
Anyway, in the summer we sleep on the screen porch to try to keep cool, and in the winter we turn on the gas fireplace and strategically close doors. Did you know you can heat up your food on the gas fireplace? just be careful! Also, we have LOTS of extra candles, and many permantently affixed canndle sconces in the rooms we need to see in. It’s actually kinda nice if it’s not too cold/hot. We always end up playing board games and eating whatever we can find that doesnt need cooking! Luckily our pipes have never frozen (knock on wood!) but we have had plenty of spoiled food in the freezer.
There was an ice storm here in rural Nebraska in December of 2006. My youngest child was only two weeks old, so we packed a few belongings and moved into Grandma’s house in town where they still had power. My husband was busy getting water to the cattle and stopping by our house to run a kerosene heater in our basement to keep the pipes from freezing. We were lucky because we only lost power for two days. Many others were out of power for weeks! It’s not fun to lose power with a newborn, so we invested in a permanent propane heater. We use it in the winter to create more heat in the basement. We can use it for cooking if needed. We also have an emergency tote that I re-stock throughout the year that we keep in our basement that included bottled water, some non-perishable foods, activities for the kids and so on. The tote doubles as a ‘tornado’ kit, too. Gotta love Nebraska’s unpredictable weather!
Before my husband fixed the furnace, we had to live in a house that was at a steady 50 for a couple of months. It was pretty wretched.
The key to staying warm? Layer up the clothing and spend a lot of time cuddling with the dog!
During a ice storm this past Jan we lost power for awhile. Luckly we have a wood burning fireplace so we managed to keep it pretty warm in the house. We did all the tips that you listed as well as running our ceiling fans to keep the warm air pushed down since we live in a 2 story house.
We turn the gas burners on the stove on and prop the carbon monoxide detector up near by. It keeps the house semi-comfortably warm.
Hehe… hmmm maybe I’m loosing it but we probably weren’t running the ceiling fans during that time (no electricity and all), that is one of our tips for keeping the rooms warm though. haha!
I have absolutely no helpful tips or tricks, just a story of how silly we were our first winter in our house. The electric heater would come on, but no hot air came out of the vents. Thankfully we had a gas heater we would run in the evenings after work and turn off before we went to bed. Every morning it would be somewhere around 58 and we’d say, “We gotta call the repairmen today!” And then after getting to work we wouldn’t think about it again until that night when we came home to our freezing house. This went on for at least 2 or 3 weeks. Oscar our dachshund would lay on his side on the floor in front of the wall mounted gas heater until he was almost hot to the touch. It was hilarious and yet scary, so we’d poke him to make sure he was still conscious. Eventually we did remember to call the repairmen who came and made everything work.
When I was a kid, we moved into a new construction house and didn’t have gas, electricity OR running water for a month and a half during the dead of winter while the lines were being ran. We had a wood burning fireplace, so used it all the time. We did like you said – kept the doors all closed. We also had to hang blankets over hallways to block that air. It was an adventure, to say the least! (Imagine using those terrible camping toilets during that time of year!)
All I can say is long live electric blankets!! A few years ago when I was in college in North Carolina, we had a huge ice storm and most of the town was without power or heat for a few days. We were lucky and were only without for about a day, but we had tons of friends camping out in our living room for several days – not an ideal situation, but pretty fun nonetheless!
Thats funny, we keep our thermo set at 55 degrees all winter. But keeping an electric space heater handy to keep rooms or pipes hot is a must. We had our pipes freeze here in indy when it dropped to -13 but no breaks. phew!
This is kind of an opposite problem–we were without power for 9 days after a hurricane when we lived in Florida. Florida in August with no AC is HOT. And everything in our apartment was moist from the humidity. Cold showers. Yuck. We found one restaurant that had power, and we went there every night.
During one of the ice storms here in Memphis I was without power for 7 days so no thermostat to the gas heat. I used my “McGyver” skills and was able to fill our cast iron claw foot tub with hot water (since the hot water heater was still heating). I lived in the bathroom most of the weekend where the heat radiated from the tub. I carried my Yorkie like a papoose under many layers of clothes. She was perfectly comfortable and kept me warm too. I did all the other things you mentioned too. Good memory, but wouldn’t want to do it again.
I live in the California mountains and we lose electricity at least a few days each winter, last year for five days straight. We heat with wood though our hot water heater and gas cookstove has an electric starter,ugh. As our power blew out last year and we realized the implications we all panicked! My husband came to our rescue quickly and fired up our gas generator, not for hot water or cooking but the INTERNET!! We were all on our computers/laptops within 5 minutes. Disaster avoided!
Denise T. says
We live in a 100 year old farmhouse in the NC mountains that we renovated to be a seasonal retreat (spring, summer, & autumn). That was a superb plan until we decided to sell our house in suburbia and live in the farmhouse year round. We resort to being pioneers in the winter. Almost daily, we have to protect pipes from freezing (the drip method) and I can only use my washing machine when outdoor temps are above freezing. This has been a particularly cold winter and we’ve decided to take the old house to the next level – as in more insulation and an addition. Hooray for new construction. Winter camping is fun, but not for the entire season.
Glad to hear YHL weathered the snow storm without any frozen pipes. Your advice is excellent.
Well our last place gave us the pleasure of losing heat, frozen water lines, and frozen sewer lines! Yikes that was two tough winters in a row! Our pilot light would constantly blow out due to birds building nests and we would wake up very chilly. One winter our water lines froze. Then, the next winter the sewer line froze. I realized this after getting out of the shower and stepping onto a flooded bathroom floor! Exciting times out in the country, but problem solved…we moved!
Yes, during the Oklahoma Ice Storm of 2007, we were without power for over a week, along with several other hundred thousand folks. My best advice is find your closest friends and their dogs, and all sleep close in front of a blazing fireplace. Our old 1950’s home dropped well below 50 degrees, but luckily, we didn’t have any problems with the pipes.
SoBella Creations says
The one time we lost electricity for several days I had a baby who was several weeks old. I took her and the dog to a hotel about an 1 1/2 from my house. July is too hot for a baby to be without AC.
I grew up in the country and the electricity would inevitably go out at least once every winter, sometimes for days. We had a kitchen/dining room with a wood burning stove. I guess that’s what you call it; kinda like a free standing enclosed fireplace that heats up the room. My mother would make soups and stews in a pot on top, and lay my socks and mittens on the open door to warm them before I put them on. It’s actually one of my best childhood memories.
Last winter in Tulsa Oklahoma we had a MAJOR ice storm and the ENTIRE city was without power for 9 days. No power mint no heat, no hot water, we had nothing! On day 3 we no longer cared about the pipes freezing but only our survival. We needed gas to fuel the generator, food we could cook on the open fire, we needed to conserve our candles, and keep our dogs as warm as possible. Luckily because of the ice we had plenty of firewood since it ripped down all of our trees that used to tower over our two store house. Now remember the entire city of 600,000 people was without power for over a week so all stores were empty and everyone was stinky!! At the time my husband and i never complained. We never said “I’m cold” because we both were. We never said “I want a shower” because we both did. We saw this as the time to show the world that us two could do anything as a team! On day 9 as i was putting on another layer to go put gas in the generator (which was only powerful enough for a tiny heater and one lamp) every light in my house came on and flooded the room with warmth and joy and it seemed they were telling us Congratulations you made it!!
Now over a year later since “The Ice Storm” we look back at that trying time as one grand adventure and LOVE to tell our friends and family our funny tails of that long cold week.
Sounds almost romantic. Cold, but romantic. We don’t have these issues in San Antonio Texas. :)
When I was a kid, we moved into a house with no central heat or air. We lived in South Texas so it really wasn’t all that necessary. Well guess what? The first winter we moved in, we had a freak winter and the temp got down to 9 degrees. That’s right, 9 degrees with no heat. We used space heaters, got dressed in front of the oven and huddled together. We had to constantly run the water but the pipes still froze. My Dad was outside with a hair dryer trying to defrost the pipes!!! Needless to say, my parents put in central heat that year.
Something fun about the huge city of Tulsa going without power for over a week was what came 9 months later. A big baby boom!!
we luckily have not lost heat. but it’s so darned expensive we keep it awfully low. my mother bought us FLEECE SHEETS for christmas this year, which has made an unbelievable difference for sleeping. those suckers are so soft and warm, we never want to leave our bed. and it doesn’t seem to matter how cold the house gets…it always feels warm in our bed.
Jennifer C. says
What you need to do is buy a five-gallon fuel container and keep it in the shed until the next time you forget to get your tank filled. Then you go to the nearest station with a diesel pump, fill it up, and have heat again. You’ll have to learn how to bleed the air out of the line, but that’s pretty easy with a pair of vice grips, a piece of tubing and a cup. I had oil heat for years and I was forever forgetting to get the stupid tank filled.
Now, when the forty-year-old boiler finally went kerplooie (in January, naturally), we put blankets up over all the archways, kept the doors shut and lived in the room with the fireplace until the new gas boiler was installed.
We moved into our house on the infamous Black Saturday here in Victoria (the hottest day ever on record). That night the power cut out because of the heat and the bushfires. How horrible that was I can’t even explain…
Sami Jenkins says
I had my oil run out the first winter after I had a baby – even though I was on a “guaranteed no-run out” plan. Our experience was similiar to yours — shut all the bedroom doors, put a ceramic heater in in our living room and hanker down. We had a second story, which we blocked off pioneer-style, by hanging a heavy quilt across the stairway door — this kept the heat downstairs. Additional problem for us was we have well-water, no electricity means the pump won’t work. After that we invested in a generator – which we have used once (this winter) and we keep a 7 gallon tank of water in the basement (for emergency flushing).
I’m concerned about running out of the heating oil to start with. The company that supplies it to you should’ve filled up the tank WAY before it ran it. They use something called “degree days” to estimate how much you’ll use and when you should be getting a refill. If this storm only lasted 2 days (if I’m thinking correctly), then that supplier has some explaining to do! I think I’d be giving them a call for an explanation of some sort.
We had trouble with our radiators in November/December, and as they are the only source of heat in our house (except the floor heating in the bathroom, which is powered by electricity), it got pretty cold here. We went through A LOT of candles to keep the temperature up, and we kept the TV on even when we weren’t watching anything, just to keep it emanating heat.
It took many, many phone calls to finally get someone to come over and have a look at the radiators again (the first guy told us that nothing was wrong, and that sorry, it just doesn’t get any warmer!), but in the end it was fixed. However, we now kinda regret buying a house with no fireplace…
This doesn’t help if the power is out, but if you have a cold bedroom and don’t want to heat the whole house to be warmer at night, buy heated mattress pads. You can set them up to warm your bed an hour before you get in it, and usually that’s enough so you don’t need to put them on during the night. They look and feel much better than electric blankets.
My other suggestion is warm hiking socks. If you have cold feet, the rest of you just won’t feel warm.
Teresa L says
Did you know that if you run out of oil for your furnace, that you can put in Diesel fuel, from the gas station, in a pinch, atleast you could use the furnace until the oil delivery arrives. I didn’t know this until this past winter we also ran out of oil and the delivery man couldn’t get there for a few days, so the hubby went to the gas station and put 10 gallons of diesel fuel in, and that held us until the delivery of oil came.
My husband, sister-in-law, and I arrived home at 11pm on Christmas night, to our 38F degree (!) rented condo in Denver…we were horrified to find the furnace had broken and was not willing to come on at all. We new we wouldn’t have any help before the morning, so we made due with what we had. I cautiously turned on the oven and opened the door to let out some heat. This was only good for warming the tiny kitchen, but wouldn’t do any good for the upstairs bedrooms that we had to sleep in. So, I boiled water on the stove and filled every Nalgene (LEXAN) bottle we owned. We used them as warmers in bed- if you stick them in a large thick sock they keep their temperature for a long time. The bottles can actually be extremely hot if you don’t wrap them, so be careful! My sister-in-law who had to sleep alone got the majority of the bottles. We piled on the blankets and made it through the night. Amazingly none of our pipes froze. In fact, we used the bathroom and the hot water as a sauna to change and warm up in.
We had a huge ice storm this winter and were without power for over a week. We had to go live with the inlaws who had a gas fireplace. I made a HUGE quilt a few years ago from old jeans and cordoroy pants that is very heavy. This quilt has gotten us, the kids and the dogs through a few ice storms.
Well, being that I live in Florida, and have for most of my life, pretty much all of my no-power stories deal with severe thunderstorms and hurricanes. Since we don’t have gas appliances, we cook on camping stoves or the bbq. But the heat and humidity is unbearable in the summer months! We resorted to cracking open a few of the windows, laying thing sheets on the tile floor, and sleeping in the middle of our kitchen/dining room. Although it was stiff, believe it or not, it was better than sweating to death in our formerly comfortable beds. One of the best parts about having no power for a couple days though is having a neighborhood cookout to get rid of all the meats/perishables that would otherwise go bad without refrigeration. Yummy!
Love that picture of fireplace, very relax and warm. Great post!
Well you know that huge ice storm that hit the Ohio valley in January of 2009. I was in that and no one had electricity for a long time. Some of us were without heat for 2 weeks and it was 2 degrees outside. I would recommend investing in a good kerosene heater. We have one and it keeps the house nice and warm. :)
[email protected] Heater says
Just make sure you are ready for things like this in times of emergency. The fact that you had the air mattress was surely a good thing for you.
Just found your site (which I LOVE LOVE LOVE) and I am catching up on your blogs (and taking notes for my own home improvements)…. Whenever it gets cold (which happens often because I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) I have found that along with the fireplace idea, doing a little baking, running the dishwasher and even doing laundry help to warm up my house:)
The thing about living an hour outside of Atlanta is that, in Georgia, it can be 65 degrees at noon one day, and less than 12 to 18 hours later it can be 20 degrees….and sleeting. You just are never really fully prepared because at lunchtime less than half a day earlier, you were basking in the sunshine as you talked on the phone and ate lunch with friends. Then you drive home to your big ole rambling farmhouse in the country…watch the 6 oclock news, find out that its going down to 20 degrees tonight….and next thing you know, you are crawling around in the basement trying to avert a disaster with your pipes. Ga. is just fun like that. : )