January 13, 2022 - As temperatures drop below freezing over the next few days, City Utilities reminds customers that pipes and water meters can freeze, causing significant damage and costly repairs.
Six tips to protect your home and pipes
- A small trickle of lukewarm water can help protect your water meter and pipes during cold temperatures. The flow should be about the diameter of a pencil lead.
- If the meter is in an unheated garage, it should be protected with an insulated box, and the garage door should be closed to hold in as much warmth as possible. For residents with an outdoor meter located in a pit, be sure the lid is not broken or missing. The meter is the customer's responsibility, and replacements start at $134.
- Wrapping pipes that run through unheated garages or crawl spaces can help prevent freezing. Use insulating tape and wrap it over the entire length of the exposed pipe. You can also use molded flexible pipe sleeves. Cover all valves, joints, etc., with insulating tape or fiberglass insulation.
- Know the location of your master valve or a main water shut-off control. That will allow you to turn off all the water coming into the house if you have a broken pipe. The valve is usually near where the main water line enters the house. If a pipe breaks somewhere in the house, you can turn off the water at this main valve.
- Open doors below sinks, especially if the sink is against an exterior wall. Opening the cabinet doors will allow warm air to reach the pipes. Remember that drains can freeze, too.
- Consider the use of a space heater to keep warm air circulating near drains and water pipes.
Residents who have no water and suspect that it's because of a frozen meter should call 311 to report it. If it's after-hours, a recording offers an option to connect to the water maintenance dispatcher.