Every winter, property owners face the expense and upset of frozen water pipes and meters. Frozen pipes aren’t just an inconvenience: substantial damage and disruption can result when pipes freeze. Read on for important tips to avoid frozen water pipes in your home.
Be Prepared For Frozen Pipes:
- Find the master shutoff valve. It may be near the water heater, washing machine, or where the water service pipe enters the house from the street. If a pipe bursts anywhere in the house, this valve will turn the water flow off. Make sure everyone in the residence knows where this valve is.
- Have a plumber’s number handy, in case of an unexpected emergency.
- Maintain heat at 55 degrees minimum (including in basement).
- Avoid drafts where water meter and exposed pipe are located.
- Insulate pipes that are located in cold and drafty places in the home.
- Disconnect hoses.
- Shut off faucets from inside basement and drain the faucets.
In Extreme Cold:
- Open cabinet doors to allow heat to reach water pipes.
- During extreme cold snaps, some customers run cold water faucets constantly (the size of a pencil lead). This may help if your service has a history of freezing.
If You Have a Frozen Pipe:
- NEVER use a torch or flame to try to thaw a frozen pipe.
- If attempting to thaw the pipe yourself, the best tool is a hair dryer on a low setting – wave back and forth over pipe.
- When thawing pipes, be mindful that they may already be broken and may start to leak once they begin to thaw. Be ready to run to the shutoff valve.
- SWSC customers can contact Field Customer Service at 310-3501 anytime, 24/7.
It is the customer’s responsibility to ensure that the area around the water meter is kept open, warm, and dry. The cost to replace a meter or repair pipes that are damaged from freezing or bursting is the customer’s responsibility. Take steps to protect your home this winter season!
More information can be found here:
“Helpful Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes” Video
“Preventing Frozen Water Pipes” Brochure – single page, English only
“Tips for Avoiding Frozen Water Pipes this Winter” Tri-fold Flyer – two pages, English and Spanish