Protect your pipes!
January 06, 2017
With freezing weather expected over the next few days Iredell Water Corporation wants to remind our customers to make a thorough check of their homes to protect water lines and guard against the possible inconvenience of loss of service due to frozen lines.
Before Freezing Weather Sets In:
- Wrap exposed pipes
- Cover any exposed pipes with insulating material. If you do not have commercial insulating material use plastic, newspaper, rags or blankets.
- Block air passages into crawl spaces
- Check crawl spaces to be sure pipes are protected. Use cardboard or rags to block air passages. Make sure crawl space vents are closed.
- Secure basements against the cold
- Plug up drafty cracks and repair broken window panes.
- Check outside faucets
- Remove hoses from outside faucets and drain
- Locate your shut-off valve
- Make sure every member of the household knows where your main water shutoff valve is located.
- The shutoff valve should be used in the event of a burst pipe or if you have a significant leak. The shutoff valve is usually located where the water pipe enters your house or on a vertical pipe leading from the point of entry inside your basement wall or crawl space. In some homes, it can be found in the utility room or within 3 feet of the crawl space door.
- If you do not have a main shutoff valve, you should install one for your protection. There may be additional charges if an Iredell Water Corporation employee must turn your water off for a leak on your plumbing supply.
During Freezing Weather:
- Keep meter box lids closed
- Cold air can freeze the meter if the meter lid is left off the box. With the lid on the box the heat from the ground will keep the meter from freezing. If you notice a meter box lid which is not properly secured on the meter box and you cannot put the lid back on yourself, please call our office immediately.
- Make sure heat reaches your pipes
- If your pipes are enclosed in a cabinet under the bath room or kitchen sink on an outside wall, leave the doors open so heat can get in.
- If you have had issues with freezing pipes in the past, keep a trickle of water running from a faucet in the home. This trickle should be a steady stream the size of the lead in a pencil.
If You Have A Frozen Pipe:
- If you do not know the location of the problem, call Iredell Water Corporation. We will check to see if you have water available at the meter. If the water is frozen at the water meter, which rarely is the case if the lid is on the meter box, we will correct the problem. If not, the problem is in your household plumbing and it is your responsibility to correct it. If the meter lid has been removed and left off your meter box you may be responsible for any damages and/or repairs to Iredell Water Corporation facilities. Repair of any damage to a meter resulting from the carelessness of the owner of the premises, owner's agent, or tenant, or from the negligence of any one of them to properly secure and protect same, including any damage that may result from allowing a water meter to become frozen or to be damaged shall be paid for by the customer or the owner of the premises.
- Wait for the pipes to thaw
- If you have some running water, the safest and cheapest thing to do is wait for the frozen pipes to thaw.
- Never use an open flame
- Never try to thaw a pipe with a flame, because you may start a fire.
- Try to thaw the pipes yourself
- Be careful because the pipe may already be broken. It’s not leaking because the water is frozen. But when you thaw it out, water could come gushing out. Be ready to run for the master shutoff valve if necessary.
- With the closest spigot slightly open, use a hair dryer on the lowest setting and move back and forth on the frozen pipe, never holding in one spot.
- Or wrap the frozen section with rags or towels and pour hot water over them. It’s messy, but it works.
- Call a plumber
- If all else fails, call a plumber and get professional assistance. Have a plumbers number on hand just incase.