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Friday, November 21st - 8:41 PM
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City Water Department Provides Advice to Avoid Frozen Water Pipes

Release Date: 12/6/2005 12:00:00 AM

Contact: Marlene Feist, 625-6740

With single-digit temperatures cold weather forecasted for this week, the City of Spokane's Water Department is providing some advice for residents to avoid frozen water pipes. If you need additional advice, call the Water Department at 625-7800.

Before freezing weather:

  • Advise all household members where the main water shutoff valve is located in case of emergency.
  • Make sure water pipes in unheated parts of your home, including crawl spaces, are insulated.
  • Seal all openings in the basement around the foundation, windows, and doors.
  • Pipes in your basement that are close to windows should be insulated.
  • Drain all underground irrigation systems.

During freezing weather:

  • If a water pipe freezes, NEVER thaw it with an open flame. You may start a fire! Use hot air from a hair dryer, the exhaust from a vacuum cleaner, heat lamps, heat tape, or electric heaters.
  • Make sure you heat all rooms of your house that have plumbing fixtures. Water pipes in unheated rooms are subject to freezing and could cause extensive damage.
  • If your sinks are on an outside wall, you can leave the cabinet doors open to allow the heat from the room to enter.
  • A light bulb can be used to thaw pipes slowly, by placing it next to pipes that are frozen (Be sue to keep the bulb away from combustible material.)
  • Keep meter box lids closed during winter months to prevent cold air from freezing the meter. (Don't remove snow if you don't have to. It helps insulate the meter.)
  • If you have experienced problems in the past during freezing periods and you have exhausted all other solutions, you can leave a trickle of water running from the faucet highest in the house. This trickle should be a steady stream slightly larger than the lead of a pencil.

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