CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The historic 2018 cold snap is starting to take a toll on infrastructure and pipes all across the Charlotte area.

“We have a Little House on the Prairie situation going on,” Kimberly Canham of Lincolnton explained. “We're boiling the water on the stove, then we take that water (and) put it in the tub with soap.”

The Canhams have been without warm water for four days after their pipes froze and burst.

“We found out there was no hot water whatsoever running anywhere in the house,” Canham said, adding that repair workers are booked solid responding to similar calls.

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As the water starts to freeze, it expands. That builds up pressure inside the pipe, which eventually causes it to burst.

And it's not just the pipes in your home.

Charlotte Water crews have been running around all week fixing more than 100 water main breaks. City officials say most of the pipes are less than 40 years old, but the freezing weather is taking its toll.

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“When we see cold weather into the teens we see an increase in water main breaks,” a spokesperson said Friday.

While crews work on city lines, there are things you should be doing at home:

Be sure to turn your faucet to have a constant drip, open your cabinet doors, and leave your heat no lower than 55 degrees to avoid a very pricey problem


“We did not remember to turn on the faucets and do the drip,” Canham admitted.

Experts say everyone should also know where the water shutoff valve is located in the home.