Public Works Tips for Keeping Your Water from Freezing This Winter

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Wednesday, December 21st, 2022, 12:37pm

Brrr... it's going to be cold tonight. The Town is flowing water in pipes that are prone to freezing. Are you?

Letting water trickle through a faucet can help prevent frozen pipes, especially during extreme cold. Here are some tips to keep your home dry and your water flowing this winter:

Locate Your Water Shut Off Valve

If a pipe does freeze and burst, you want to locate your water service shut off valve to quickly shut water off in your home and minimize damage. This valve is often located near your water meter in your basement or crawl space where your water line comes into your home.

Live in an old house and don't have a water shut off valve inside your home? You should work with a plumber to get one installed.

Identify Areas of Your Home that are not Protected from Cold Weather

Check rooms that are not insulated, rooms without access to heat and openings in doors and windows. Crawlspaces, basements, and rooms open to the elements are most vulnerable to frozen pipes.

Eliminate Access to Cold Air

Wind blowing through openings will quickly freeze pipes. Repair broken windows, insulate all exterior walls, and seal any openings near doors and windows.

Protect Exposed Pipes and Your Water meter by Wrapping Them in Insulation

Hardware stores sell insulation specifically for water pipes. Wrapping water meters with insulation is also important to avoid costly repairs. Frozen water meters are replaced by the Town at your expense!

Close Inside Valves Supplying outdoor Hose Bibs and Disconnect Outdoor Hoses

After shutting off the supply, remove any drain caps so there is no water left in the line. Go outside and make sure no hoses are attached to the outside faucets. This is necessary even for freeze proof faucets. Open all faucets that have been shut off from the inside.

If Your Pipes DO Freeze:
  1. Turn off your faucet
  2. Slowly apply heat to the frozen area, but don't use an open flame! Hair dryers can work with patience
  3. Continue to apply heat until full water pressure is restored
  4. Prevent the pipes from freezing again