WEST NYACK, NY, November 26, 2014 – United Water is reminding customers to protect the water meter and pipes from the freezing weather. Homeowners are responsible for preventing damage to the water meter, service line and plumbing inside their property line. They are also responsible for any costs that might be incurred to repair such damage. The following tips will help reduce the risk of costly repairs and inconvenience which may occur from a frozen or broken pipe.
Outside the home
- Disconnect and drain the garden hose connection.
- Close all outside vents, crawl spaces and doors so cold air doesn’t seep inside.
- Fix broken windows and seal cracks in the walls.
Inside the home
- Wrap the meter and water lines in commercial insulation. Pipes subject to cold or freezing can be wrapped in heat tape which is available at hardware stores.
- Make sure the shutoff valves on the water meter are working properly. Place a tag on the main shutoff valve and be sure everyone knows where it is and how to operate it.
- Check the water meter periodically to see if there is damage. Contact United Water if you detect a crack.
- If you have had problems in the past, you may want to keep a trickle of water running from the highest faucet in your house during freezing weather. You will be billed for the water used, but this may help prevent more costly plumbing repairs that result from broken pipes.
If you won’t be home
- If you’re going away for an extended period, keep a minimum amount of heat on in the house. This will help protect the pipes in case the temperature drops.
If the pipes freeze
- If your pipes freeze, it’s important to clear blockages as soon as possible to minimize damage. It may be best to call a licensed plumber.
- If a water pipe has frozen and burst, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve in the house.
- Open a nearby faucet slightly so the pipe can drain as it thaws.
- Do not use electrical appliances in areas of standing water.
- Never use hot water or a blowtorch on a frozen pipe or water meter.