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Davidson Water News
March 14, 2011
2011 Annual Report
March 22, 2010
2010 Annual Report
March 2, 2009
2009 Annual Report

Freeze Prevention, and Other Winter Tips



Preventing Frozen Pipes—Before the Weather Turns Cold
  • At the end of summer, drain swimming pool supply lines and lawn and landscape sprinkler systems. (Do not put automotive antifreeze in drained lines; it is toxic to animals and plants).
  • Remove, drain, and store outdoor hoses. If hose bibs have shut-off valves, close them and drain faucets. If no shut-off is available—or if frost-free faucets have not been installed—cover faucets with insulation or Styrofoam covers.
  • Install thermostatically-controlled heat lamps in pump houses.
  • Survey property for other water supply lines that may be unprotected: unheated basements, attics, crawlspaces, and garages; under cabinets on exterior walls; at the water meter; at the point where main supply lines cross the foundation into the house. Insulate both hot and cold water lines in these areas (hot water lines freeze as readily as cold water lines if water is not flowing through them).
  • Protect exposed pipes by wrapping with foam pipe sleeves (taping at all junctions), covering with fiberglass insulation, or installing UL-listed heat tape or heat cable. Even several layers of newspaper will do in a pinch when temperatures aren’t expected to remain cold for prolonged periods.

Preventing Frozen Pipes, When It’s Already Cold
  • Open cabinet doors on exterior walls where water pipes are located (beneath kitchen and bathroom sinks, for example). Remove harmful chemicals to prevent access by pets and children.
  • If exposed pipes run through the garage, keep garage doors closed.
  • Consider temporarily closing or covering crawlspace vents, especially if very cold temperatures are accompanied by high winds; this combination will freeze pipes more quickly. (Remember to open the vents when the danger has passed; it is important to maintain ventilation of crawlspaces).
  • When water will not be used for several hours, allow indoor faucets to drip lukewarm water; this protects both hot and cold lines. About one drop per second is usually sufficient.
  • If leaving the home, set the thermostat to 65 degrees.
  • Please make sure that if you check your line at the meter box, that the lid is securely replaced to prevent freezing at the meter. If the lid is missing from your meter box, please contact Davidson Water so that it can be replaced.
  • To prevent freezing of your water lines make sure the area around the box is filled with dirt and that the line from the meter box to the house is sufficiently covered and compacted with dirt.
  • If you see that the service line from the main water line to the meter is exposed, please contact Davidson Water so that the line can be lowered and properly covered to prevent freezing.
  • The frost line in our area is approximately 8-12 inches. This can vary in different soils and in shady areas and on the north side where the sun doesn't warm the ground. Lines running from the meter to your house should be buried at least 18 inches deep.
  • If you suspect the water meter has frozen, do not attempt to build a fire in the meter box. This can result in damage to the meter itself and to your water line. You will be responsible for any damage that may incur.
  • In cold temperatures mobile homes that are not properly underpinned may have a problem with the pipes freezing. In addition, houses with vents under the house that are not closed or covered in the winter months may also experience a problem with frozen pipes.
  • Heat tape can be placed on pipes to help prevent freezing.

Thawing a Frozen Pipe
  • If a pipe does freeze (usually only a trickle will run from an open faucet), Do not use a torch to thaw it. A torch can cause the water inside the pipe to boil, and the pipe could explode.
  • Leave the involved faucet open while warming the pipe until full pressure is restored.
  • Wrap towels soaked in hot water around the frozen section of pipe.
  • If the pipe cannot be thawed (or if the frozen section cannot be located) contact a licensed plumber.