BPU Suggests Ways to Avoid Frozen Pipes and Meters at Home or at Work

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Article Contributed by
Jamestown Board of Public Utilities

Jamestown Board of Public Utilities (BPU) water customers can take action to prevent frozen water pipes and frozen water meters that could occur as a result of recent extreme cold temperatures.

Wrapping pipes with insulation or heating tape, especially pipes located on exterior walls or where the water comes into the meter, could help prevent freezing. Heating your basement, closing basement windows and weather stripping basement windows are other measures that can be taken to avoid freezing water in the pipes.

Windows near water pipes should be closed. Opening kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing, especially if there is an outer wall in the cabinet, is suggested.

Garage doors should be kept shut, especially in garages where water supply lines are located.

Customers are reminded that it is helpful to maintain a certain amount of heat in your entire home or building and to keep interior doors open between rooms to allow the warm air to circulate freely throughout the structure.

BPU Water Division officials note that customers may want to keep water streaming from a faucet served by exposed pipes or from a faucet in a sink located against an exterior wall. The water stream should be as small as possible, such as the width of lead in a pencil. Both hot and cold water should be used in these situations.

Water expands as it freezes, putting tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal and plastic pipes. No matter how strong the pipe may be, expanding water can cause pipes to break.

Customers whose water lines freeze should contact a plumber or landlord.