Connecticut Water reminds homeowners that there is still time to take precautions to protect their household plumbing and water meter from freezing in advance of the forecasted bitter cold temperatures.
· Allow room heat to freely circulate around meters and water pipes. Meters and pipes installed in an enclosed area or cabinet, or on an outside cellar wall restricted from heat circulation, can result in freeze-ups when outside temperatures drop below freezing.
· Seal cracks or holes in windows, walls or doors near the meter or pipes. Outside air from a crack or small hole can quickly cause a freeze-up, particularly if high outside winds create a further chilling effect. This type of freezing can occur even though the rest of the room may be considerably above freezing.
· Wrap pipes with insulation. Insulating pipes is helpful when basement temperatures are reduced because of lower thermostat settings, an energy efficient furnace or use of a wood stove or other sources of heat. Check the insulation regularly to make sure it stays dry. Wet insulation can freeze and damage the pipes it was intended to protect.
· Consider placing a small heater near pipes located in a particularly vulnerable location when the forecast is for bitter cold temperatures. Be sure to take proper safety precautions when doing so.
· Check for cracks in the vault cover of outside meter installations. A cracked cover allows cold air to enter and all insulation value is lost. The double cover is then unable to protect against freezing.
· Know the location of your water shut-off valve. If, despite these precautions, pipes or the water meter do freeze and burst, homeowners should know how to shut the water off to their home.
Homeowners may not know their pipes are frozen until they go to use the tap or a burst pipe thaws. Homeowners who experience a frozen pipe can try to thaw the line safely by using a hair dryer, heat lamp or electric lamp. Thawing won’t be fast, but it will be safe. Do not leave the pipes unattended. Never use an open flame or an electric arc welder to thaw frozen water lines. If in doubt, call a plumber or heating contractor to safely thaw the line and make any necessary repairs.
If the water meter is frozen or damaged, Connecticut Water customers should call the Company at 1-800-286-5700.