Cold Temps May Freeze Pipes

Cold Temps May Freeze Pipes
Posted on 01/03/2018

Cold weather and frozen pipes go hand in hand. If you are susceptible to frozen pipes, household thermostats should not be set lower than 68 degrees even in vacant homes. This setting may seem high; but outside walls and poorly heated areas will never get to the set temperature. In fact, many of the water pipes that burst are in utility areas or outside water faucets. The cost of keeping your pipes warm pales in comparison to what water damage can do to your home and belongings.

Extreme cold temperatures can add another layer of cold-related problems. Pipes located above ground as well as underground feeding residential homes and businesses are susceptible to freezing. A partially frozen line must be addressed before it freezes the full length of the pipe. Frozen water services can stay blocked with ice for weeks or perhaps longer if left unattended. There are ways to unfreeze pipes; but they can be expensive and can damage the pipes or the home itself.

The simplest way to prevent a frozen water line is to run a continuous stream of water at a faucet. As little as a ½ gallon of water per minute will keep a 3/4 inch water service from freezing. A good way to measure this is to use an empty milk jug and track the time it takes to fill it half way. The cost of running a faucet for one day at this rate will cost approximately $3.00 in addition to your normal water use. A small price to pay to ensure your water service will run throughout the extreme cold temperatures.

If you are experiencing a frozen service pipe to your home please contact Public Works for assistance. Public Works will assist you by attempting conventional methods to thaw the service or attempt to make a temporary water connection to a neighbor. Residents will be responsible for water bills associated with their normal use and any water used to keep the temporary water connection flowing by running a faucet. If you experience a frozen water service, do not leave multiple faucets on unattended with hopes the water will start flowing again on its own. If the frozen pipe thaws on its own, it may flood your home.  

Public Works can be reached at 847-368-5800 during the hours of 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. After hours please call the Police desk at 847-368-5300.