Winter Weather Precautions - Tips to Help Prevent Frozen Water Pipes

Winter has arrived ❄️, and our area will be experiencing extreme low temperatures over the next several days. When daytime temperatures do not exceed freezing, water customers may experience frozen or burst water pipes. If you have not already taken precautions to minimize the effects of the cold temperatures on your water pipes, now is the time to do so.

We offer the following suggestions to help minimize the risk:

✅Close all doors and vents to crawl spaces where there are water pipes. This will help keep the temperature above freezing.

✅Insulate all pipes located in garages, attics, crawl spaces and other unheated areas. Special purpose pipe insulating materials are readily available at local hardware and home improvement stores.

✅Don’t shut off heat to areas where fixtures are located or where pipes run in the wall, overhead, under the floor, or in cabinets against exterior walls.

✅Disconnect garden hoses from outside hydrants.  Protect freeze-prone hydrants with insulating covers readily available at local hardware and home improvement  stores.  Drain the hoses for future use.

✅Make sure your water meter lid is in place and if the water meter has frozen in the past, place additional cover over the meter box.  If the meter box needs repairs, call Cleveland Utilities at 472-4521, 478-9387 or 478-9393.

✅If pipes are in danger of freezing, open faucets inside the house to provide a small trickle.  Flowing water will seldom freeze.

✅Locate your main shut-off valve and know how to operate it.

✅Keep your precautions in place.  Hidden or buried water pipes may continue to freeze even after outside temperatures increase above the freezing point.  The ground may remain frozen for several days after the surface temperature warms. 

✅If service lines or pipes in the house are frozen, it is recommended that a plumber be called.

✅Drain pipes and fixtures if you are planning to be gone for an extended period of time during winter.

Things you should NOT do:

❌Do NOT use a torch or burning newspapers to thaw a pipe. It may cause a fire; it may cause steam to generate in the pipe resulting in an explosion; or it may melt plastic pipes and fixtures.

❌Do NOT build a fire in the meter box. Chances are the line is frozen someplace else.  Parts of many water meters and meter boxes are plastic.  You will be billed for any damage done. If you suspect your water meter is frozen, call Cleveland Utilities at 472-4521.

Please take these precautions as soon as possible.