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Steps to Prevent Your Water Pipes From Freezing

UJCWA has received numerous reports of water lines freezing and bursting during the recent winter storms.  The storms can be harsh on household plumbing so don't forget to protect the water meter and pipes.

Please follow these important steps to prevent expensive problems later.

Outdoors:

  • Disconnect and drain all garden hose connections.
  • Close outside vents, crawl spaces and doors so cold air doesn't seep inside.
  • Wrap hot and cold water lines and meters in commercial insulation. If commercial insulation is not available, use pipe sleeves, heat tape, heat cable or even newspaper.  As little as one quarter inch of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that don't have frequent or prolonged temperatures below 32 degrees F.
  • Locate your shut-off valves. UJCWA requires that you have at least one shut-off valve installed on your side of the meter, as close to the meter as possible.  (Use of the Authority's shut-off valve is prohibited.)
  • Keep your garage door closed if there are water supply lines in or adjacent to it.

Indoors:

  • You may want to drip the water inside your house.  You will be billed for the water used but this procedure may help prevent more costly plumbing repairs resulting from broken pipes.
  • If a sink is located on an outside wall, open the cabinet doors overnight to allow warm air to reach water pipes. If you do this, remove harmful cleaners and chemicals and move them out of the reach of children.

If a pipe does burst, turn off the water supply to your home and call a licensed plumber for repairs.