Tips to keep your pipes from freezing in the bitter cold

Toledo's DPU says a few simple tips can help customers keep their pipes from freezing.

Current and forecasted weather conditions for the Toledo-area will pose a threat to water pipes and meters if they are not protected.

Toledo's Department of Public Utilities urged residents, on Friday, to take steps in the coming days to prevent their pipes and meters from freezing.

DPU said in a press release, "preventing pipes and meters from freezing is much easier than trying to thaw them."

Officials added that customers often forget to protect their meters, in addition to their pipes.

Depending on where your water meter is located, DPU suggests allowing inside units to get warm air from nearby rooms and if its outside to make sure its cover fits properly.

They also say that by implementing a few simple tips customers will be able to continue to enjoy their water service and avoid unnecessary and expensive repairs.

Provide warmth to the water pipes:

  • Eliminate cold drafts near water pipes.

  • Tightly close doors and windows to the outside and eliminate drafts from crawl spaces.

  • Fill cracks in walls and around windows.

  • Turn off water to garden hose connections at an inside valve and drain the exposed piping before freezing temperatures set in.

  • Open the door to the room where the pipes are located to allow warmth to circulate.

  • Place a lighted bulb near water pipes. (Never use open flames.)

  • Wrap pipes in insulation or heat tape.

  • Open cabinet door below the sink to allow warm air to reach the pipes.

  • Flowing water often breaks up ice below freezing.

  • When outside temperatures remain below freezing, it's less expensive to run your faucet regularly than for you to repair a frozen or burst pipe.

  • What to do if pipes freeze?

    If no water comes from faucets when they are open, the pipes nearest a wall, door, window, or along the floor are likely frozen:

  • Start by opening a faucet near the frozen pipe to release any vapor from the melting ice and so that you'll know when the water starts flowing again.

  • Begin warming the pipes nearest the faucet and work toward the frozen section.

  • Blow warm air on the pipe using a hair dryer. (Do not leave the dryer unattended or allow it to overheat.)

  • Once water has begun to flow again, let a pencil-sized stream of water flow through the faucet until normal heating is restored to the area.

  • Eliminate cold drafts and allow warm air to circulate around the pipes to prevent freezing again.

  • Customers who suspect damage to water pipes or the water meter should contact Customer Service on business days from 7 am 6 pm at 419-245-1800.

    Water Emergencies should be reported to 419-936-2020 immediately.

    Water turn-off service for repairs is provided at no charge and is available from 7 am until 11 pm seven days a week at the Water Emergency number.