Preventing Frozen and Busted Water Pipes
Water expands when the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius). The extreme cold can freeze your water pipes, so it’s important to stay aware and take steps to protect your pipes and your property. With the potential for power outages, it’s more important than ever to ensure the integrity of your home’s water system.
To protect your water pipes you should:
- Insulate outside walls and unheated areas of your home
- Disconnect garden hoses; install covers on outside faucets
- Turn your indoor faucets in a position that allows them to slowly run consistently with both your hot and cold water open
- Open cabinet doors below faucets allowing warm air to contact the pipes - this is especially important for faucets located on walls that are on the outside perimeter of your home
- If you normally store cleaning supplies in these cabinets, it’s important to relocate them to a safe storage spot that children and pets cannot access
If water is not flowing out of your pipes, you should:
- Leave faucets open and make sure your cabinets are open
- Leaving faucets open makes sure you can expedite the thawing process
- Apply a safe heating source facing the walls with the frozen pipes in them to warm them up
- Never use a blowtorch or an open flame device to warm your pipes
- Make sure your heating source is away from any flammable materials
- Soak towels with hot water and wrap them around the pipe if you have another water source
- Call a plumber if running water does not flow to your pipes in a reasonable amount of time – if the pipe is located on an exterior wall, it’s imperative to act swiftly
- You can call the City of Tulsa at 311, or after hours call the water emergency number at (918) 596-9488 and our staff can advise you.
IF A PIPE BURSTS:
- If your home has an independent/private shut-off valve, shut off the water.
If not, call the City of Tulsa at 311, or after hours call water emergency at (918) 596-9488.
Call a plumber to fix pipes inside the home.
The Water and Sewer Department does not read meters when the outside temperature is 28 degrees or below. Keep the meter can lid closed to trap warm air and prevent frozen pipes.