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:

How to Keep Your Water Pipes from Freezing
Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses Insulate pipes in unheated areas Seal off access doors and cracked windows
Disconnect and drain hoses Insulate pipes Winter Preparedness
Detaching the hose allows water to drain from the pipe instead of leaving it to freeze. Otherwise, a single hard, overnight freeze can burst either the spigot or the pipe connected to it. If you have pipes in an unheated garage or crawl space, wrap the pipes with an insulating material, such as a foam tube or heat tape, before temperatures fall. Hardware or building supply stores will have wrapping materials available. Seal places where cold air gets in with caulking or spray foam and repair broken windows. Winter winds whistling through overlooked openings can quickly freeze exposed water pipes.
Find your master shut-off valve and label it Leave a pencil-lead-thin stream of water flowing Turn off the water or leave the heat on when you're away
Winter Preparedness Winter Preparedness Faucet Set Thermostat
The master shut-off is typically found where the water line comes into the basement or crawl space from the street. If a frozen pipe bursts, this valve can turn off the water. Turning off your water quickly will limit damage and control costs. A small flow of water running from a bathroom or kitchen faucet during the worst of the cold spell can help prevent water service lines from freezing. The water should be left running through the pipe susceptible to freezing. You can also leave your cabinet doors open to allow the heat of your house to circulate around plumbing under sinks. If you’ll be away from home for several days, turn the water off and drain the outside faucets. Or, leave your thermostat set at 55 degrees or higher to ensure your home stays warm enough to keep interior plumbing from freezing.

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 frozen area using a portable heater, heating blanket, or a hairdryer. You can also contact a certified plumber to thaw your water lines. If your meter freezes, it can cause flooding 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 us at (216) 664-3060. To download a copy of our Winterizing Your Plumbing brochure, click here.