Water & Wastewater

Cold weather and wind chills are here. This means we can expect frozen water pipes and water damage if exposed areas aren't properly insulated or we aren't careful about winter heating. Here are some problem areas, warning signals and tips to minimize the chance of freezing water pipes.

Problem Areas

  • Inadequate Heating in Uninsulated or Uncovered Outside Pit
  • Pipes Near Broken or Open Basement Windows
  • Pipes Near Exterior Wall in Unheated Room
  • Pipes Near the Foundation or Cracks in the Basement Wall
  • Pipes Under Kitchen Sinks or Cupboards
  • Unheated Crawl Spaces and Equipment Rooms

Warning Signs of Freeze

  • Discolored Water at a Fixture
  • Extremely Cold Piping at a Fixture
  • Low Water Pressure at a Fixture
  • Sputtering Sound When Opening a Fixture
  • Unusually Cold Water Temperature (Less Than 35° F) at Any Fixture
  • Unusually Low Water Flow at a Fixture

Thawing Frozen Pipes

  • It's safest to use hot air from a hair dryer or exhaust from a vacuum cleaner
  • Use heat tape, but with caution and following the manufacturer's instructions explicitly, and unplug when finished

Prevention

  • Check Water Temperature and Run a Little Water if Unusually Cold
  • Insulate Walls Near Exposed Piping
  • Repair Cold Air Leaks to Reduce Drafts on Piping and Meter
  • Run Small Amounts of Water From Highest Faucet Until Full Flow Returns
  • Shut Off and Drain Outside Water Faucets Before Freezing Occurs

Caution

  • Be careful if a pipe is cracked, it will spray water into electrical appliances when thawed.
  • Check and clear drains to prevent basement flooding in case of pipe burst.
  • Know where the main shut-off valve is located so you can turn it off quickly in case a pipe bursts.
  • To prevent fires, never thaw with an open flame or torch.

Frozen

What should I do if I think that my water service lateral is frozen? Please contact us at 715-732-5180.