City of Lincoln
2013 Media Releases
- November 20, 2013
- For More Information Contact:
- Steve Owen, Lincoln Water System, 402-441-5925
Take Steps Now to Prevent Frozen Pipes
With the arrival of cold temperatures, the Lincoln Water System (LWS) reminds property owners to take steps to protect pipes from freezing. LWS officials say the most common problems are associated with irrigation systems that have not been properly winterized. The pipe or backflow device can freeze and break causing costly damage and high water bills. Other locations where pipes can freeze are along exterior walls, in poorly insulated structures and in unheated basements, crawl spaces, attached garages and cabinets.
LWS recommends property owners take the following precautions:
- Properly drain and winterize lawn irrigation systems.
- Remove hoses from exterior faucets. Most newer homes have freeze-proof faucets which drain water when the hose is removed. Older homes may have a valve inside the home that needs to be shut off.
- Make sure that all areas with plumbing are heated. Space heaters should only be used according to manufacturer instructions and only when supervised.
- If pipes are concealed in accessible spaces near exterior walls, open cabinet doors to allow warmer air to reach the pipes.
- Heat tape should be installed according to manufacturer instructions or by a licensed plumber.
- Running a small amount of water from a kitchen or bathroom faucet for short intervals will usually keep pipes from freezing. About one cup of water every minute is recommended.
- Locate shut-off valves so that water can be shut off immediately if there is a leak or break in the plumbing system. The valves are usually near the water meter.
If your pipes do freeze, LWS recommends that property owners contact a licensed plumber who can locate the problem and safely unthaw and repair any broken pipes. Never use a flame or high heat device to unthaw pipes as this may damage piping or cause a fire.
More information on LWS is available at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: water).