Prepare for Winter Now
Tuesday Dec 15th, 2020
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.