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City Utilities gives tips to prevent frozen pipes

Frozen Pipes
Frozen Pipes(Source: Associated Press)
Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 10:24 AM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - With wind chills Wednesday in the negative teens, City Utilities is giving customers some tips to avoid frozen pipes and water meters.

In a release, City Utilities says frozen pipes or meters can cause significant damage and costly repairs.

They offered the following six tips to protect your pipes:

  • A small trickle of lukewarm water can help protect your water meter and pipes during cold temperatures. The flow should be about the diameter of a pencil lead.
  • If the meter is in an unheated garage, it should be protected with an insulated box, and the garage door should be closed to hold in as much warmth as possible. For residents with an outdoor meter located in a pit, be sure the lid is not broken or missing. The meter is the customer’s responsibility, and replacements start at $134.
  • Wrapping pipes that run through unheated garages or crawl spaces can help prevent freezing. Use insulating tape and wrap it over the entire length of the exposed pipe. You can also use molded flexible pipe sleeves. Cover all valves, joints, etc., with insulating tape or fiberglass insulation.
  • Know the location of your master valve or a main water shut-off control. That will allow you to turn off all the water coming into the house if you have a broken pipe. The valve is usually near where the main water line enters the house. If a pipe breaks somewhere in the house, you can turn off the water at this main valve.
  • Open doors below sinks, especially if the sink is against an exterior wall. Opening the cabinet doors will allow warm air to reach the pipes. Remember that drains can freeze, too.
  • Consider the use of a space heater to keep warm air circulating near drains and water pipes.

They say residents who suspect they have a frozen meter should call 311 and report it. The 311 call center handles requests from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. If a call is made after-hours, a recording offers an option to connect to the water maintenance dispatcher.

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