NEWS RELEASE: Board of Public Utilities
CHEYENNE, WY – Weather forecasts call for freezing temperatures at night beginning this week. Cold temperatures can cause water pipes in sprinkler systems, fire suppression systems, homes and businesses to freeze. As water freezes, it expands and can break pipes, water meters and faucets. Broken pipes often result in costly repairs and large water bills.
Prevent frozen pipes. Begin by turning on heat to homes and businesses. Remember to turn the heat on in unused buildings if the building still has water service or a fire suppression system. Close up windows and doors when temperatures drop below freezing. Insulate pipes and faucets in unheated areas such as garages or crawl spaces. Blow out sprinklers systems for the winter. Also, remember to disconnect hoses at night.
The first sign of a "frozen pipe"is reduced flow or no flow at a plumbing fixture. If pipes freeze, turn the water on to the fixture. Once the pipe begins to thaw, flowing water will help defrost the pipe. Next, make sure heat can reach the pipes by opening doors to cabinets, closets, bathrooms and utility rooms. If you know where the pipe is frozen, gently wrap warm towels around the pipe to thaw the pipe. Do not use open flames, torches or high heat as this can burst the pipe or weaken joints.
A frozen pipe may be broken and will begin to leak or spray water when it thaws. Avoid using electrical devices such as hair driers or space heaters to thaw the pipe. Electrical devices and water can result in electrocution.
If the pipe starts to leak, turn off the water at the main valve to the home or business. This will prevent water from damaging the building. The pipe will need to be repaired before turning the water back on. If you need assistance, call the water department at 637-6471.