GIRARD, Ohio (WYTV) – Every time Helen Rush wants to use the bathroom, she has to leave the warmth of her home, come down some narrow steps and use the outhouse.
The pipes in her mobile home are frozen and now she has no running water. She rented the outhouse in desperation.
“I have to have a bathroom,” Rush, who is in her 70s, said. “My pipes have been all frozen up. The heating tape must have went out. They checked it before winter came. I can’t use the bathroom, I can’t wash up.”
The last time she had running water in her home was five days ago.
“I called somebody. But he said he can’t do it. It’s too hard to work on trailers, and he won’t do it,” Rush said.
Local plumbers have been flooded with calls from people complaining about frozen and burst pipes over the past few days.
Mobile homes are elevated from the ground, with no insulation underneath them. That means people living in them have more headaches during the cold weather.
“It allows the air to get through and it starts creating a tunnel and just freezing everything As you use hot water, the molecules start steaming up and come down and hit your pipes and start freezing on your pipes,” Roto-Rooter owner Xavier Ugarte said.
It was not Roto-Rooter that Rush called to help her.
Mobile home residents can take some steps to protect their water supply.
“Cover up anything outside that can allow air underneath. All your skirtings, cover up any holes, your stairs,” Ugarte said.
Also, keep a mix of hot and cold water running at all times.
“Not a lot. It’s got to be very short, like the lead of a pencil. Just enough to keep the water moving. That will keep your drains and your water moving and does not give it enough chance to freeze,” Ugarte said.