Tips to help prevent frozen water pipes during extreme cold

Published: Jan. 28, 2019 at 6:30 PM CST
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The City of Cedar Rapids Water division offered some tips to keep your pipes or water meters from freezing during the upcoming extreme cold across eastern Iowa:

• Open cabinet doors under sinks to help circulate warm air near pipes.

• Eliminate drafts from rooms containing your meter or pipes. Seal cracks from cold air and cover drafty windows with plastic or insulation.

• Insulate water pipes that may be vulnerable to cold air drafts with wrap that contains fiberglass or other known insulating materials.

• Cover your meter with a blanket or rug to protect it.

• Always keep your home’s temperature above 55 degrees, even if you are not home for an extended period.

• Leave a thin stream of water running from the tap furthest from your water meter when temperatures drop below 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

• Protect outdoor faucets/hose bibs by disconnecting hoses and turning off any indoor shut-off valves to those faucets.

• Ensure your water meter can be turned off in case of emergency. Turn your shut-off valve on and off a few times to make sure it is in working order. If the valve is inoperable, contact a plumber to make repairs.

If you are getting no water at your faucet, a good start is to check your water meter. If it is broken, then call your local water department to get it replaced. If your meter is not broken, check with neighbors to see if they have service. If not, it may be a water main break.

If you find frozen pipes, especially those along exterior walls, call a licensed plumber or use a hair dryer or hot towels to thaw it. Do not use an open flame.