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Forum staff reports, Published December 30 2012

Cracked toilet leads to flooding in Fargo home

FARGO – A home in the 1600 block of 14th Street South in Fargo suffered water damage Sunday when a toilet tank that was cracked by ice released water into the rest of the house, according to Assistant Fire Chief Larry Schuh.

The house had been unoccupied for some time, but someone was checking on it regularly, Schuh said.

Schuh said when firefighters were sent to the house Sunday afternoon they found water had seeped to lower levels of the house, causing damage to sheetrock and other things.

The home’s furnace had recently malfunctioned but was repaired, according to Schuh, who said the problem occurred because water in a toilet tank in the second floor of the two-story house had frozen while the furnace was out, cracking the tank.

When the furnace was working again, the ice thawed and water began running out of the cracked tank.

Schuh said if a house is going to be left unattended during winter; property owners should consult a plumber to determine the best way to protect pipes.

He said in some cases it is advisable to shut the water off when a home is left vacant.

Also, he said, it is usually best not to turn a thermostat down very low, as cold outdoor temperatures can freeze pipes near external walls.