Check for Frozen Pipes

SAWS has received a high number of calls for water outages. Many of these are due to frozen pipes within the home. Here are some tips to troubleshoot that issue:

  • Check multiple faucets. If some have water and others don’t, it’s probably a frozen pipe in your home.
  • Check with your neighbors to see if they have water service. If they do and you don’t, it’s probably your pipes.
  • Is your home heated? Were you away from home during the freeze? Lack of heat could cause pipes in your home to freeze.
  • Did you leave your faucets dripping? Cover your outdoor faucets? These steps help protect your home’s pipes from freezing.

How To Shut Your Water Off at the Meter

Once warmer weather has returned, it’s important to check the plumbing in areas that might have frozen. Broken/cracked pipes can produce lasting – and expensive – water damage.

  • Please pay special attention to pipes in outside walls or unheated spaces because leaks from there could cause significant damage to homes and businesses.
  • If you suspect a leak, shut off the main water service to your home and contact a plumber to make the repairs.
  • Be sure you know where and how to shut off your water at the meter and be prepared to turn it off if your pipes start leaking. See the video below for more information.

covering pipeProtect Your Pipes

Ice formed during a freeze can cause a blockage in your pipes, causing them to burst. Here’s how to be ready:

  • Cold winds can speed up the freezing process. Seal up openings where cold air can reach unprotected water pipes, like faucets.
  • Foam or fiberglass insulation sleeves go a long way in keeping exposed pipes safe.
  • Leave cabinet doors open under the kitchen and bathroom sinks to allow warmer room air to circulate over the pipes.
  • If there are rooms without heating ducts, leave doors open to allow ambient heat in. Especially if the room is on the north side of the house.
  • Letting faucets drip slowly to keep water flowing through pipes is not ideal, but it can help.