DPW Cold Weather Tips – Protect Your Pipes

5 Jan

Frozen plumbing

Winter is still a week away, but the temperatures over the next few days will be bitterly coldPipes and utility meters can freeze when the temperature remains below 25 degrees for extended periods of time. The Baltimore City Department of Public Works offers the following tips to help protect water lines during periods of cold weather:


•           Let a thin stream of cold water run from a basement faucet. The stream should be a continuous flow, about the thickness of a pencil lead. This water can be caught in a bucket and used later.

•           If your interior pipe is frozen, warm it with hot air from a blow dryer where it enters your house.

•           Be sure you know the location of the water shutoff valve in your home. Check it periodically to ensure it works properly.

•           Be sure to shut off water to outside faucets, and drain the water from the outside faucet.

•           Monitor your sump pump. A frozen drain pipe could result in a flooded basement.

•           Insulate pipes in unheated parts of your house. Be alert if you have had frozen pipes in the past.

•           Always keep on hand a three day supply of bottled water; one gallon per person per day.

•           Consider getting a service protection policy for your exterior water/sewer lines. Baltimore has partnered with HomeServe USA to provide this low cost protection. Please visit: BaltimoreServiceRepairs.com

As a reminder, the Department of Public Works maintains outdoor water lines up to and including the meter. Water lines running from the meter to the house, and internal plumbing, are the responsibility of the property owner. For water emergencies in Baltimore City, please call 311 or call 410-396-5352 in our Baltimore County service area.



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