Winter Preparedness

When temperatures drop below freezing, it is possible for your water meter and the water pipes in your home to freeze. Frozen pipes can damage your property and be expensive to repair. Here are some simple steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of frozen pipes:

Steps to protect your water lines from freezing:
Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses. Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas. Seal off access doors, air vents and cracks.
Disconnect and drain hoses Insulate pipes Winter Preparedness
Detaching the hose allows water to drain from the pipe. Otherwise, a single hard, overnight freeze can burst either the faucet or the pipe it is connected to. If you have pipes in an unheated garage or a cold crawl space under the house, wrap the water pipes before temperatures fall.  Good wrapping materials are available at hardware or building supply stores. Repair broken basement windows. Winter winds whistling through overlooked openings can quickly freeze exposed water pipes.  Don’t plug air vents that your furnace or water heater need for good combustion.
Find the master shut-off valve. Leave a pencil-lead-thin stream of water flowing. Turn off the water if you are away for a long period of time.
Winter Preparedness Winter preparedness
The master shut-off is typically located where the water line comes into the basement or crawl space from the street. If a pipe bursts anywhere in the house, this valve can turn off the water. A small flow of water running from a bathroom or kitchen faucet during the worst of the cold spell can help prevent faucets or water service lines from freezing. The water should be left running through the pipe susceptible of freezing.  You can also leave your cabinet doors open to allow the heat of the house to help keep your pipes from freezing. When you are away from home for several days, turn the water off and drain the outside faucets or leave the thermostat set above 65 degrees to ensure your home stays warm and the pipes do not freeze.

If you think you may have a frozen meter or water line, you need to thaw the pipes as soon as possible. You can try to thaw the pipes yourself by applying heat to the area where the meter or pipe is located by using a portable heater, a heating blanket or a hair dryer. You may also contact a certified plumber to come and thaw your water lines. If the meter does freeze, it can cause your basement to flood and the meter will need to be replaced before you will have water again. Please note, there is a charge associated with having to replace your meter. If you have any questions about frozen water lines, please contact Cleveland Water at (216) 664-3060. To download a copy of our Winter Tip Card, click here.