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I admit it. I'm not the least bit of a handyman. In fact, I sometimes make Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor look like a genius, and it certainly showed last Sunday (yes, Super Bowl Sunday). It would help if I was that funny.

There's a particularly cold room in the house where there is a built-in space heater and fireplace to boost the heat and help warm things up.

Turns out, the more that space heater runs, the less the house furnace runs, cooling everything else down. It was a near-disaster when I discovered the cold water from the kitchen faucet had quit working. This was because the house furnace wasn't kicking on and warming the rest of the house up, as my father who saved the day, let me know in no uncertain terms. The pipes were on their way to freezing up.

Luckily the other faucets weren't at that stage, and the problem and it was resolved quickly when I listened to his instructions to turn the space heater down.

He says I'm lucky I caught it quick or it could have been a whole lot worse. I was interested after this experience to see an article where CBS2 talked to the Cedar Rapids utility director about just such an issue, who had tips if it were to have gotten worse than my experience, or to prevent it in the first place. Roy Hesemann said:

  • Insulate your water pipes that may be vulnerable to cold air
  • Keep your home's temperature above 55 degrees
  • Cover your meter with a blanket or rug
  • Allow a small trickle of water to run overnight, the cost of the water running is less compared to repairing damage from a bursting pipe
  • Open your cabinet door to expose your water pipes to the warm air

Thank God for the internet, right? Great tips, but I'm going to go with his final tip in the article, "just ask for help", in my case from my pops first and foremost, and just try to remember not to let the space heater run too high. Have you experienced any household disasters triggered by the frigid cold the last couple of weeks? Let us know in the comments below.

Iowans Share Things Their Dads Taught Them Them They'll Never Forget