As temperatures have dropped into the negative numbers over the last week, Columbus Utilities staff have responded to well over 100 customer calls concerning frozen water pipes. Many of these have been problems in the water meter pits, and crews have been able to thaw the meter service and restore service, but others have involved frozen piping within the home or business and may involve costly plumbing repairs to remedy.
The longer cold temperatures persist, the greater the likelihood of freezing of pipes leading to and within homes and businesses. The Columbus City Utilities is recommending that customers take precautions to prevent frozen pipes in their homes or businesses by taking some simple precautions.
- If there is snow covering your meter pit, leave it there. Snow cover acts as an insulating barrier and can help prevent the meter inside from freezing.
- Don’t open your pit or tamper with the valve inside. It’s against local code for anyone but Utility personnel to work in the meter pits and vaults. Without the proper tools the valves can be fragile and this damage can be charged back to the customer. Also, being underground chambers, the pits can sometimes collect dangerous gases from other sources.
- When freezing is a possibility, there are some things you can do to help prevent disasters. Open vanity and cabinet doors to expose pipes to the inside, warmer temperatures.
- Let a small (pencil-lead thin) stream of water run. Moving water is much less likely to freeze than water standing in a pipe. Make sure all crawl space openings are closed and, if possible, insulate the opening.
- Use wrap insulation on pipes in unheated areas.
Get more tips at the Columbus Utilities website.