Prevent Frozen Water Pipes
You may have heard on the news that due to the prolonged frigid temperatures and the deep frost, some area water utilities are requesting customers run a continuous water stream to prevent frozen water laterals.
At this time, Stoughton Utilities does not recommend all customers leave their tap running continuously. SU has been directly notifying certain customers living in neighborhoods and homes prone to freezing to leave their tap running continuously to address known private property concerns.
Current IssuesAt this time, there are no known problems with frozen water mains or frozen water services owned and maintained by SU. There have been isolated instances of customer's experiencing frozen pipes within their basements.
What Should You Do?Unless you have been directly notified by SU to leave your tap running continuously, we recommend that customers simply use water regularly at least six to eight times every day: morning, afternoon, evening, and night, including weekends, in order to keep water circulating in their service lateral (the pipe running from the underground water main to the home). Businesses are recommended to run water periodically over the weekends. If you are traveling out of town, it is recommended that you have someone visit your home in your absence.
Be sure to keep your basement heated so that all areas that have internal plumbing remain above 34°. This includes the area where the water service enters your home and where the water meter is located. If your water meter is in an enclosed space such as an underground pit or a basement cabinet, it is important to be sure that the heated area is able to circulate to this space.
If you have internal plumbing located in external walls, such as plumbing to a second floor bathroom, be sure to insulate these pipes and heat your home as necessary to ensure the wall spaces maintain a temperature above freezing.
If you use space heaters to maintain adequate temperatures in your basement, please be sure to do so safely and follow all precautions to minimize any risk of fire, and to only run them temporarily as needed.
If You Have a Frozen ServiceIf you have no water service at all, and it affects every faucet in your home, please contact us immediately. If it is determined that your water service line has frozen, we will attempt to provide a temporary water service. If your water service line has no history of previously freezing and you are able to keep your basement above freezing temperatures, water operators may attempt to thaw your service line if we are able to safely do so.
If you notice that your water sometimes doesn't immediately run, or if the temperature of the running water is less than 34 degrees, please contact us to discuss additional precautionary steps.
If you have water to some faucets but not others, your home's internal plumbing may be frozen in one or more locations. You can often resolve this problem by heating the affected pipe with a hairdryer for a period of time. A professional plumber may also be able to provide assistance with frozen internal plumbing.
Please do not attempt to thaw your pipes yourself using a flame, torch, or electricity, as this can lead to injury or fire.
Home Heating System FailuresIf your home's heating system has experienced a failure and you have no heat, your basement temperatures can drop quickly. Please contact a heating and furnace repair contractor as soon as possible, and run a continuous stream of water from an indoor faucet until repairs are completed and your basement has had a chance to be heated back to a safe temperature.
If you use space heaters to maintain adequate temperatures during a heating system failure, please be sure to do so safely and follow all precautions to minimize any risk of fire, and to only run them temporarily as needed.
How to Run Water EffectivelyIf you need to run water continuously to prevent internal plumbing issues, it is recommended that you do so from the interior faucet located furthest away from the water service line entrance. This may be a second floor bathroom or a kitchen sink depending upon the layout of your home. A continuous stream of 1/8" should be maintained -- about half the diameter of a pencil -- to keep water flowing through the pipes.
Billing CreditsBilling credits are not issued for water used to prevent your water service line or internal plumbing from freezing. Billing credits will be issued if you are requested to help provide temporary water service to a neighbor, or if a situation arrises where you are requested to run your water continuously to prevent the public water mains from freezing.
Questions?Please contact us with any questions or concerns about your home's water service line or what you can do to minimize any issues during the freezing cold temperatures.