Helpful Tip: Avoiding Frozen Water Pipes

Avoiding Frozen Water Pipes Infographic

Here are a few helpful suggestions to keep your water service operating this winter:

  • Close garage doors. Many frozen waterlines can be avoided by keeping the garage door closed. 
  • Open the cabinet doors below sinks to let heated air from the room into that space, especially if water pipes are in outside walls. Pipes exposed to external walls have an increase chance of freezing.
  • One of the most effective ways to prevent waterlines from freezing is to allow a reduced stream of water (just before a drippy faucet becomes a solid stream) to flow through faucets, particularly faucets on exterior walls. This is for the customer’s plumbing protection.
  • Make sure that all heated areas, zones and plumbing are working properly.
  • Install heat tape and insulation around exposed plumbing. For safety reasons, it is important to make sure your heat tape is always working properly.
  • It is really important that you properly identify and mark your main shut-off valve. The main shut-off valve isolates the water from coming into your house (in the situation of an internal waterline break). Knowing where this valve is located could save your home from costly damage due to a broken waterline.

Customers should not forcefully heat their waterlines. Using a torch can cause additional
stress on the waterline causing it to burst. It is best if they allow the lines to thaw naturally or by applying moderate heat, for example, heat tape or space heaters.

The Utilities Department encourages customers to contact the Water Services office if they are experiencing a water outage. At that time a technician can be dispatched, at no charge to the customer, to investigate whether or not the water meter or service line is frozen. If it is, then the technician can take actions to attempt to restore service. The City requests that the meter pits not be accessed by customers or plumbers as that can allow additional cold air into the pit which could then cause the meter to freeze.

Contact:  Greg LeBlanc, Sr. Assistant to the City Manager     970-244-1557 or 

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