SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (SWSC) – The Springfield Water and Sewer Commission is reminding the public to take steps to prevent frozen water pipes in homes and businesses. In cold weather, water pipes can freeze and burst, causing damage to properties and disrupting the lives of residents.
Here are some simple steps residents can take to help prevent frozen water pipes:
- Maintain heat at 55 degrees minimum (including in the basement).
- Avoid drafts where the water meter and exposed pipes are located.
- Insulate pipes that are located in cold and drafty places in the home.
- Disconnect hoses.
- Shut off faucets from inside the basement and drain the faucets.
In Extreme Cold:
- Open cabinet doors to allow heat to reach water pipes.
- Some customers choose to run cold water faucets constantly (the size of a pencil lead). This may help if your service has a history of freezing.
- Find the master shutoff valve. It may be near the water heater, washing machine, or where the water service pipe enters the house from the street. If a pipe bursts anywhere in the house, this valve will turn the water flow off. Make sure everyone in the residence knows where this valve is located.
- Have a plumber’s number handy, in case of an unexpected emergency.
If a Pipe is Frozen:
- NEVER use a torch or flame to try to thaw a frozen pipe.
- If attempting to thaw the pipe yourself, the best tool is a hair dryer on a low setting – wave back and forth over the pipe.
- When thawing pipes, be mindful that they may already be broken and may start to leak once they begin to thaw. Be ready to run to the shutoff valve.
- SWSC customers can contact the Commission at 310-3501 anytime, 24/7.
The Commission has published a short video entitled, Helpful Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes. Click here to view.
Customers of the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission may call 413-452-1300 to request a copy of an informational brochure on preventing frozen water pipes. Information is also available on our website: waterandsewer.org.