Insulate Water Pipes
Water pipes located next to an outside wall are often subjected to sub-freezing temperatures. Any plumbing located in a garage or any other unheated building is susceptible to low temperatures. Any exposed pipes should be wrapped or insulated. There are other devices such as heat tape which can be used to keep pipes from freezing. Insulate areas that have frozen in the past.
Don't forget outside faucets. Turn off valves to outside faucets and then drain any water in the faucets. If there are no valves to outside faucets, they may be protected by insulating them and then placing a plastic bag over them to protect the insulation.
Pipes in cabinets could be located against an outside wall. Even if these pipes have been insulated, you should consider leaving the cabinet doors open to allow the heat in the room to keep them from freezing.
If your house has a crawl space located under it, close all air vents located in the foundation wall. This will prevent the pipes in the crawl space from being exposed to the cold air.
These winter advisory tips will pay off in fewer customer calls during a severe winter.
As per city ordinance the property owner is responsible for any water meters that freeze and cause damage. A frozen meter charge shall be $20.00 for a service call plus any cost of materials needed to repair the damaged meter.
Thawing Frozen Pipes
Even if all precautions are taken you still might find a frozen pipe in your house. The freeze-up may be eliminated by applying heat to the frozen area on the pipe using a hair dryer, heat lamp, light bulb or space heater. Do not use a torch or other open flame.
Does your house have a private cut-off valve in or near the house? If so, know where it is located and how to shut it off in case of an emergency. It is also a good idea to open and shut the valve a couple times a year. This exercise could keep the valve from becoming stuck.