Protect Your Pipes During Cold Weather
Friday Dec 29th, 2017
Winter is in full force and the temperatures over the next week will be bitterly cold. Pipes and utility meters can freeze when the temperature remains below 25 degrees for extended periods of time. The Baltimore City Department of Public Works offers the following tips to help protect water lines during periods of cold weather:
- Let a thin stream of cold water run from a basement faucet. The stream should be a continuous flow, about the thickness of a pencil lead. This water can be caught in a bucket and used later.
- If your interior pipe is frozen, warm it with hot air from a blow dryer where it enters your house.
- Be sure you know the location of the water shutoff valve in your home. Check it periodically to ensure it works properly.
- Be sure to disconnect and drain hoses, and shut off water to outside faucets.
- Monitor your sump pump. A frozen drain pipe could result in a flooded basement.
- Insulate pipes in unheated parts of your house. Be alert if you have had frozen pipes in the past.
- Always keep on hand a three day supply of bottled water; one gallon per person per day.
- Consider getting a service protection policy for your exterior water/sewer lines. Baltimore has partnered with HomeServe USA to provide this low cost protection. Please visit BaltimoreServiceRepairs.com.
As a reminder, the Department of Public Works maintains outdoor water lines up to and including the meter. Water lines running from the meter to the house, and internal plumbing, are the responsibility of the property owner. For water emergencies in Baltimore City, please call 311, or call 410-396-5352 in our Baltimore County service area.