As the temperature drops you need to do a few things around the home to prevent frozen pipes that can cause water leaks. When water freezes, it expands. So if the temperature of your pipes drops below 32 degrees, even for a short period, you run the risk of a leak. Here are a few tips to try and prevent this problem.
Know where your main waterline shut-off valve is before problems arise. Depending on the age of your house, it can be inside a garage, crawlspace, laundry room, or underground in your yard. Some homes do not have personal shut off valve. The City does not know where your homes personal shut of valve is located. The City does have a shut off valve at the meter.
Inside Your Home
Keep the temperature in the home at least at 55 degrees
Open cupboards doors below sinks to allow warm air to circulate
Insulate pipes in unheated areas (crawl space, garage, outside, etc.)
During extreme cold run a small trickle of water from a faucet (1 extra unit of water is 748 gallons and it only cost $3.37. This is much cheaper than fixing a leak.)
Outside Your Home
Cover crawl space vents around the exterior of your home.
Disconnect hoses and cover hose bibs.
Shut off irrigation systems and drain the lines so no standing water is left in the pipes.
Signs of Frozen Pipes
You turn on the faucet but nothing comes out. If plumbing should freeze, try to thaw it naturally. Or use a hair dryer on low setting waving the warm air back and forth along the pipe, not on one spot. Never use a torch or open flame as they could cause the pipe to burst, or even worse catch the house on fire. Keep in mind that if the pipe is already frozen it may have already split, so be prepared to shut off the water if needed.
The water is turned off but you hear water running anyway. Check the meter to see if there is any movement. When the low flow dial is turning or numbers are moving and you are not intentionally using water that is an indication of a water leak.