Each winter City Hall receives numerous calls from residents asking what they should do about frozen pipes. Below are some useful tips for preventing frozen pipes, what to do if your pipes freeze, and services provided by the City.
- Disconnect all outdoor hoses, if possible.
- Shut off the valve to the outside tap then run the faucet so the water in the line drains out.
- It is important to know that pipes usually freeze when they are close to outside walls and the most vulnerable pipes are those running through unheated areas like crawl spaces.
- Try to keep the pipes warm by opening vanities under sinks and raising the temperature in areas with exposed pipes by turning up your thermostat or using a space heater. Additionally, if specific pipes freeze regularly, turn on the cold tap so water continuously trickles during cold weather.
- Insulating wraps for pipes near outside walls may be beneficial, but it may be necessary for a plumber to move pipes installed in areas that are too vulnerable to the cold.
- If you leave your house for an extended time during winter, do not turn your thermostat completely off. Set the thermostat for 60 degrees and make sure all windows are completely sealed to ensure that no heat will escape. Then open the doors to vanities so warm air can circulate around the pipes under your sinks.
WHAT DO I DO IF MY WATER PIPES ARE FROZEN?
After water freezes in your pipe, the water flow will be cut off. The ice will expand and your pipes will be at risk of splitting if the clogs are not thawed promptly. When dealing with frozen pipes, it is important to act fast. A frozen pipe can turn into a broken pipe, transforming a small inconvenience into a big problem.
To thaw frozen pipes, follow
- Find and turn off the main valve that brings water into the house.
- After turning off the main valve, trace the pipes around your house to locate the other shut off valves.
- To thaw the pipes, you can use (a) a blow dryer, (b) a space heater for pipes under a sink or (c) electric pipe wraps.
- When thawing your pipes, keep in mind, you should NEVER use a torch or open flame to melt an ice clog.
- Monitor the pipes as they thaw because they may have cracked when they froze and may start to leak as they thaw.
THE CITY CAN HELP WITH TURNING OFF YOUR WATER SERVICE, BUT FEES MAY APPLY
The City would like to remind you that any water valve on your property is your responsibility. The City of Yreka encourages all property owners to install a “Customer Shut-Off Valve” on the customer side of the water meter. If you need to call the City of Yreka to request water turn-off, water turn-on or meter reading assistance, fees may apply.
If you have an after-hours water emergency and would like the Public Works Department to respond and turn off your water, call the Yreka Police Department at (530) 841-2300 (press 9 for dispatch) to request assistance. Alternatively, you may call a plumber.