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Cold Weather Tips

Don't let winter sneak up on you! Remember a frozen water meter and/or frozen pipes are not only inconvenient, they can be expensive. Here are a few tips to keep your water flowing freely all winter.

Check your outside faucets:

  • Disconnect all hoses from outside faucets
  • Shut off and drain all outside faucets and lawn sprinkler systems  OR
  • If you don't have a separate shut-off valve for outside faucets, protect them with insulated covers. You'll find covers at hardware and building supply stores.

Eliminate drafts:

  • Close all windows and doors near water lines
  • Caulk around pipes where they enter the house.
  • Close foundation vents not needed for residential use.
  • Seal cracks in basement, crawl space, and other outside walls

Insulate pipes:

  • Wrap pipes in unheated areas with weatherproof insulation or heat tape products

Protect the water meter:

  • If your water meter is in an unheated area or near drafts from outdoors, insulate it to keep it from freezing.

What to do if your pipes freeze:

  • Locate your private property main shut-off valve, which is typically located where the water service enters the home (not the valve on the City side water meter). If a water line has broken or split, you don't want to waste time looking for the shut-off when the water begins flowing again!
  • Test the shut-off to make sure it's working. 
  • Find where the pipe is frozen. Look in unheated areas where pipe insulation is loose or missing.
  • Open a faucet downstream of the frozen area to provide an outlet for the water after thawing.
  • Thaw the pipe using a hair dryer on the low-heat setting. Move the dryer back and forth across the frozen section. Be patient! This is a slow process.
  • NEVER USE AN OPEN FLAME TO THAW A FROZEN LINE!!
  • If none of your faucets work and you can't find where the lines are frozen, it's possible your service line is frozen. Call Maintenance Services to arrange for a serviceman to visit the property.
  • If the service line is frozen between the water main and the outside shut-off valve (curb stop), our Maintenance Services Department will thaw the line. There is no charge for this service..
  • If the service line is frozen within your property, thawing the line is your responsibility.

Take a few minutes to prepare your home for winter and avoid these problems!