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Water Utilities

Posted on: December 20, 2022

How do I prepare my pipes for extreme cold? What do I do if my pipes freeze?

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Frozen pipes are a wintertime concern in Colorado, especially when temperatures drop below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Such dips in temperature pose safety concerns as well as the risk of frozen pipes in your home.

Residents are asked to take precautions to keep water flowing in your home during cold spells  and save unwanted headaches and money.

  • 1. Insulate pipes and outdoor faucets. If you haven't already done so, cover your outside water hose connections with insulation to keep cold from penetrating through your outdoor pipes.
  • 2. Open cabinet doors and drip your indoor faucets throughout the night. Before bed on sub-zero nights, protect pipes that could be potentially exposed to the extreme cold. Open kitchen and/or bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Throughout the night, run cold water from the faucet at a trickle, which keeps water flow steady and helps avert frozen pipes.
  • 3. Remove safety hazards. If you're keeping the cabinet doors open, be sure to remove dangerous chemicals that might be found by a child or pet. 

Water not working during or after a deep freeze?

If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, or no water comes out from a faucet with pipes located near an exterior wall or some other susceptible area, suspect a frozen pipe. If your pipes did freeze, not all is lost! Follow these tips to lower the likelihood of busted pipes. 

o 1. Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.

o 2. Avoid a blow torch or exposed flame to thaw the pipe. It may seem like a quick fix, but thawing a pipe with an open flame could cause more issues. Instead, use a portable electric space heater, a heating pad or an electric hair dryer to do the trick. 

Followed precautions, but your pipes froze anyway?

o Sometimes, despite our best efforts, pipes may not hold up in sub-zero weather. If you took all the precautions and they still froze, report it!  It could be a sign of a larger issue outside of your home. It is possible for meters to freeze.

o   Call the Pueblo West Metro Water Department at 719-547-3554 – even after hours –   if your water doesn't start to flow after all attempts. Additional crews are on call to respond to frozen water meters and other issues outside of your home.

o  If still no water, you may have to call a licensed plumber. Public utilities like Pueblo West Metro Water do not provide residential indoor plumbing services.

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