COLD WEATHER TIPS

HOW TO AVOID FROZEN PIPES AND ISSUES CAUSED BY COLD WEATHER

To avoid the expense and inconvenience of frozen and broken water pipes, we wanted to provide some tips to help you get ahead of plumbing problems caused by freezing temperatures and cold-weather.

Taking these actions before cold weather arrives can save a lot of money and headaches during freezing temperature and cold weather.

THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS CAN HELP PREVENT YOU FROM EXPERIENCING FREEZING PIPES:

  1. Open cabinet doors leading to areas with exposed pipes (such as doors under sinks), so that the air inside the dwelling can warm them. The natural flow of warmer air will help avoid problems.
  2. We recommend leaving your faucets run with a “pencil tip” width drip at each faucet.  A very slow drip will keep the water moving and will help prevent pipes from freezing. A pencil tip drip will only use an estimated 120 gallons per day, and is much cheaper than broken pipes.
  3. Keep your thermostat set at 65 degrees and above in the entire house.
  4. Be sure to Insulate pipes that may be vulnerable to the cold or have caused problems before. Pipes that are close to exterior walls or in unheated basements or crawlspaces can be wrapped with insulation.
  5. Be sure that all Crawl Spaces and basements are completely closed. 
  6. Mobile Homes- Be sure that the underpinning around the mobile home is in place and secure, being sure not to leave any gaps where cold air can enter.  Use a Heat tape and insulation to the Water line that comes up out of the ground into the mobile home.
  7. If you have an attached garage, keep its doors shut, especially if appliances and plumbing are located in these areas. If the garage is unheated and plumbing is in this location, consider adding a heat source to keep the temperature above freezing.
  8. Be sure to know where your water shut off valve is located in your home or dwelling so you can access it quickly and safely if a problem occurs. The shut off valve is normally located in the basement, crawl space, or where the water line enters into the dwelling.  
  9. Be sure to turn off all outdoor faucets and remove hoses.  Drain Faucets if necessary.
  10. Winterize unheated or vacant buildings. 
  11. Be sure to check outdoor agricultural waterers and fixtures on a daily basis during cold weather.
  12. Take a look at the Meter Lid – and make sure your Meter lid is completely covering the Meter well so cold air cannot get in. If your meter lid is broken, call the office and let us know.

IF YOUR PIPES HAVE FROZEN

  1. Open ALL Faucets immediately.  When pipes begin to unthaw, the water will expand and cause pipes to break. Opening Faucets will help reduce the pressure from thawing pipes and may prevent damage.
  1. Thaw the pipe as soon as possible or call a plumber for help.  When thawing things – slower is better! A hair dryer directed at the frozen area of the pipe is appropriate. DO NOT USE A BLOWTORCH!  A Blowtorch may damage pipes long term and when pipes are warmed too fast, they may break anyway.

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY:

When an Emergency such as broken pipes or a leak occurs, the very first thing you must do is to shut the water off.  It is very important to know where your shut-off valve is located. 

If you have problems and need assistance, please call Fleming County Water Association at 606-845-3981, 24 Hours a day, 7 days a week.

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