East Logan Water District wants to remind its customers to please take the time to make sure your water pipes are secure from these extremely cold temperatures.
“We have had numerous customers with busted water pipes and very high usages over the past couple of week,” said Jana Hanks, East Logan Office Manager. “Don’t be one of those customers. Save yourself money by being proactive.”
Hanks said there are certain things you can do to help pipes from freezing and if you take heed it may just save you from a costly consequence.
“Make sure garden hoses are not connected to outside hydrants. Be sure to check that your water meter top is in place and secure. Check all vents and crawlspace accesses and make sure they are closed off. If plumbing is in outside walls, it is recommended to leave doors open under sinks, and if water pipes do freeze, do not leave faucets open,” said Hanks. “East Logan Water hopes that customers will pay attention to these extreme cold temperatures and take precautions to prevent any water problems.”
Being prepared and informed may help you to avoid the messy and often expensive issue of frozen pipes. The American Red Cross provides information and suggestions around how to prevent water pipes in the home from freezing, and how to thaw them if they do freeze.
Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the “strength” of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.
Before the onset of cold weather, prevent freezing of these water supply lines and pipes by following these recommendations:
Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer’s or installer’s directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a “pipe sleeve” or installing UL-listed “heat tape,” “heat cable,” or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.