Omaha residents, business owners worry about frozen water pipes, furnace issues

Published: Feb. 15, 2021 at 4:19 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - For some of us, the cold weather has been tough on the pipes inside our homes. Its also been tough on some local businesses.

Johnson Lawson noticed a major issue at a nearby steakhouse this morning on his way to work.

“I was pulling in the parking lot this morning. I noticed a lot of water splashing up on my truck when I pulled in which I thought was weird considering it’s so cold out. I stopped and looked over at the Outback and there was water coming out both sides of the building as well as out the front of the building. I thought to myself that can’t be good,” says Lawson.

It wasn’t good. The Outback Steakhouse near 72nd and Cass had to close its dining room because of frozen pipes.

The experts tell us you could have a problem with your pipes and wouldn’t know until the temperatures warm up.

Neal herring from Aksarben Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing says, “The plumbing issues are residual couple of weeks from now. We may find out that there are some issues because they freeze up, no waters leaking. Once they thaw out, the problems show up.”

Herring is with Aksarben Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing. He tells us they’re getting a lot of calls about frozen pipes and water heaters during this cold snap.

“Believe it or not, water heaters go out quite frequently when the temperatures dip this low. The temperatures, the waters are colder and so it is having to heat that water up further and it’s tough on the tank’s expansion contraction. That is where leaks start,” says Herring.

Herring says it might be a good idea to turn on your faucets and let the water trickle. He says running water is harder to freeze.

Herring also says to check your basements for any signs of water leaks and make sure you know where your main shut off is located. So in case you do have a leak, you can shut the water off before it does serious damage.

Our recent cold snap has furnace technicians in the Omaha-metro busy running around town keeping the heat on.

Homeowner Cynthia Ristau is dressed warmly, her blanket is ready because Friday night, her furnace had a problem keeping up with the extremely cold weather.

“Yeah, it was a little hit and miss on whether it was working the blower. Seems to not be working well so a couple of mornings I woke up and it was pretty chilly in the house. So I just knew sooner or later to get it replaced,” says Ristau.

Cynthia quickly called to get her furnace replaced. At Aksarben Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing, they have been setting up a lot of appointments since the temperature dropped.

Neal Herring from Aksarben Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing, says, “It’s just crazy when it gets this cold and we’ve been nonstop since the middle of last week. It’s just nonstop go go go go. Even on Valentine’s Day, technicians were out all day long trying to help as many customers as possible so it’s nonstop.”

Today the Aksarben technicians are busy putting in a new furnace for Cynthia.

“This is a variable speed furnace, it’s a lot more efficient energy saver,” said Aksarben technician.

Cynthia says her furnace is about 25 years old. The experts say the old furnace couldn’t keep up with the extreme cold.

“The equipment especially the older equipment, it will heat to a certain degree than all of a sudden it just gets stressed out because it’s being used over and over and over,” said Herring.

Cynthia is glad the technicians are here installing her new furnace. She knows it will be able to handle the extreme cold that’s still in the forecast.

Officials at Aksarben Heating and Cooling say it’s a good idea to check your furnace filters and get a furnace check up on a regular basis, before extreme weather hits.

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