Prepare for Winter Now

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Protect Your Pipes Against Sub-Freezing Temperatures

Although winter is still a couple of weeks away, cold weather is starting to set in. Did you know that your pipes can freeze when the temperature remains below 25 degrees for extended periods of time? The Baltimore City Department of Public Works urges residents to get winter ready now.  The following useful tips can help protect your water lines during periods of cold weather.

  • Insulate pipes in unheated parts of your house. Be especially alert if you have had frozen pipes in the past.
  • 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.
  • During freezing temperature, let a very thin continuous stream of cold water run from a basement faucet. The stream should be a continuous flow, about the thickness of pencil lead. This water can be caught in a bucket and used later as laundry or dishwater.
  • If your interior pipe is frozen, warm it with hot air from a blow dryer where it enters your house.
  • 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 for this low-cost protection. For more information, visit BaltimoreServiceRepairs.com.

The Department of Public Works maintains outdoor water lines up to and including the water 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 areas.

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Contact

James E. Bentley II
410-545-6541
Jennifer Combs
410-545-6541
After hours, weekends, or holidays please call 410-396-3100 for the duty officer

The Baltimore City Department of Public Works supports the health, environment, and economy of our City and region by cleaning our neighborhoods and waterways and providing its customers with safe drinking water and sustainable energy practices.