[Durham INC] Durham Offers Tips to Prevent Water Pipes from Freezing
Amy.Blalock at durhamnc.gov
Wed Jan 6 11:31:43 EST 2010
CITY OF DURHAM
Office of Public Affairs
101 City Hall Plaza
Durham, NC 27701
For Details, Contact:
Sr. Public Affairs Specialist
(919) 560-4123 x 11253
(919) 475-7735 (cell)
Amy.Blalock at durhamnc.gov <mailto:Amy.Blalock at durhamnc.gov>
For Immediate Release: January 6, 2010
Durham Offers Advice To Help Residents' Protect Their Pipes From
Freezing This Winter
Quick Tips to Prevent Extensive Water Waste and Property Damage
DURHAM, N.C. - As North Carolina battles this most recent bout of winter
weather and below-freezing temperatures, Durham residents should
implement these quick and easy tips to prevent their water pipes from
cracking - and the headache and expense that comes with busted water
pipes in the home.
According to the City of Durham's Department of Water Management, when
unprotected water lines are subjected to freezing temperatures for
several hours, the water in the pipes also freezes. As water freezes, it
expands and can cause pipes to crack or split - which can lead to
significant leaks that can cause extensive water waste and substantial
To help prevent this from happening, the City's Department of Water
Management wants its customers to follow the below tips to prevent their
pipes from freezing:
* Do NOT leave the water running; this wastes water and will not
always prevent pipes from freezing.
* Keep kitchen and bath pipes exposed to warm air by leaving
cabinet doors open during periods of extreme cold.
* Don't turn the thermostat too low when leaving for work or
extended absences. Keep the temperature set at a normal nighttime
* Locate the master shut-off valve, label it, and make sure
everyone in the family knows where it is. (Master shut-offs may be near
the water heater or the washing machine. More than likely it is located
where the water line comes into the house from the street. If a pipe
bursts anywhere in the house, use this valve to turn off the water
supply to minimize damage.)
* If you are going to be gone for any length of time, shut off
the water supply at the main valve; then turn on faucets and flush the
toilets to drain the pipes.
* Disconnect and drain all outdoor hoses. Detaching the hose
allows water to drain from the pipe.
* Protect faucets with insulated covers available at hardware
and building supply stores.
* Winterize irrigation systems by draining and shutting off
* Close all windows and doors near water lines, including garage
* Caulk around pipes where they enter the house.
* Close foundation vents and seal cracks in the basement, crawl
spaces or along outside walls.
* Wrap pipes in unheated areas with weatherproof insulation.
Don't leave any gaps.
* Use heat tape to wrap pipes. Consult a professional if
If pipes freeze despite these precautions, Durham residents should do
* Assume there is a break or split at some point along the pipe.
Have repair clamps ready when the pipes thaw and be prepared to shut the
water off quickly.
* Slowly thaw the pipes, using a hair dryer, heat lamp of
electric heater. DO NOT USE AN OPEN FLAME (such as a blow torch) TO THAW
Customers are responsible for protecting water pipes from freezing and
for repairing broken pipes on their property. If customers see breaks
or leaks in City water lines, they are urged to immediately report those
to Durham One Call at (919) 560-1200. For more information on
protecting water pipes from winter weather, contact the City's
Department of Water Management at (919) 560-4381.
About the Department of Water Management
The City's Department of Water Management is responsible for the
operation and maintenance of Durham's water supply, water treatment and
water reclamation (wastewater treatment) facilities, the collection and
distribution systems (including meter reading) and customer billing
services. For more information, visit www.durhamnc.gov/departments/wm.
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