February 5, 2021 - As temperatures drop to single digits for the next several days, City Utilities reminds customers that pipes and water meters can freeze, causing significant damage and costly repairs. 

Tips to protect your home and pipes

 Keep your garage door closed to allow as much heat as possible to stay in the garage and house.

  • 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.
  • 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 where your master valve or a primary water shut-off control is, so you turn off 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. Residents may want to consider using a space heater to keep warm air circulating near drains and water pipes.
  • Customers are responsible for meter damage or replacements. If the meter is in an unheated garage, protect it with an insulated box, and the garage door should be closed to hold in as much warmth as possible. If the meter is located outside in a pit, be sure the lid is not broken or missing.  
  • 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.