Freezing weather coming — protect your pipes now
Seattle Public Utilities advises wrapping pipes, outside faucets with insulated coverings
With freezing weather in the forecast for much of this week, Seattle Public Utilities is advising residents of actions they can take to prevent burst pipes and costly repairs.
SPU says freezing temperatures often results in broken pipes, flooding and damage to private property. That can mean huge repair bills for property owners, well beyond the cost of a plumber’s visit.
And, while that leak is being repaired at your own expense, you might have to go for a while without water.
Here is a list of tips that can help prevent costly damage and repairs to your home—and keep you safe on the streets:
- Prepare your water pipes for cold weather, ahead of time. Shut off outside faucets, drain the water and protect them by insulating them with rags or foam covers. Pipes in exposed or unheated areas (attics, basements and garages) should be wrapped with tape and insulating materials, available at local hardware stores. Drain and remove all outdoor hoses, and shut off and drain in-ground sprinkler systems.
- Once it drops below freezing, protect indoor sink pipes that are against exterior walls, by opening under-sink cabinet doors, allowing heat to circulate. During severe cold, allow the faucet farthest from your front door to slowly drip cold water. Set your thermostat no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit, day or night (even if you are away).
- Do not leave water running in unoccupied buildings.
- Please don’t use hair dryers to thaw frozen pipes!
- If a water pipe breaks, immediately close the main shut-off valve to stop excessive flooding. If you cannot turn off the main shut-off valve, SPU customers can call (206) 386-1800 and a crew will turn off the water at the meter for a standard service charge.
- In the event of snow, residents are asked to help keep street drains clear by removing snow and other debris — if it can be done safely. As the snow melts, blockages in the gutters or drains will hinder runoff, increase the risk of flooding, and make the morning commute more difficult.
- If an inlet or street drain appears to be blocked by snow or debris, try to safely clear a channel to provide a path for the runoff. If the drain cannot be cleared, or if the cause of the blockage or flooding is uncertain, call Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) at (206) 386-1800.
Learn more at http://www.seattle.gov/util/