With colder temperatures upon us, Salisbury-Rowan Utilities encourages customers to protect their water pipes from freezing to avoid water loss and significant property damage.
Pipes in unheated areas of homes or buildings have the greatest chance of freezing. Therefore, it is important to seal openings and air leaks in crawlspaces and basements, as well as access doors, air vents in foundations and any other cracks.
· Insulating water pipes or hoses in an unheated area (such as a crawlspace, attic, basement or utility room/shed) is important.
· Pipes inside or close to an exterior wall (such as pipes that supply water to a sink), can be kept warm by opening the door of the cabinet under the sink.
· Remove and drain hoses from outdoor spigots. If there is a shut-off valve specifically for an outdoor spigot, turn the valve to the off position, open the spigot and drain any water remaining in the spigot and pipe downstream of the shut-off valve.
· If you have a shut-off valve for pipes in an unheated area such as a shed or garage, turn off the valve and drain the water from the pipes by opening the faucet/spigot.
· Identify and mark the location of the shut-off valve in your plumbing system so you can quickly turn off the water in case of an emergency. Make sure others in your home or business know where the valve is located and how to operate it in case there is an emergency.
· If you do not have a shut-off valve, it is recommended you contact a licensed plumber for costs and other information regarding installation; however, if you do not have a shut-off valve in your plumbing system and need the water shut off in an emergency, please contact Customer Service at (704) 638-5300 (Monday – Friday 9:00-5:00). For water and/or sewer emergencies after hours call (704) 638-5339.
· Also check to make sure the cover on the water meter serving your home or business is closed to help protect water in the meter from freezing. If the cover is missing, please contact us at the numbers above so this can be repaired.
· The Red Cross recommends letting the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing; and FEMA states this will also reduce the buildup of pressure in the pipes. Even if the pipes freeze, the release pressure in the water system will reduce the likelihood of a rupture.
· It is also wise to know how to properly thaw a frozen pipe as well as planning ahead for winter storms and power outages including building emergency supply kits for your home and car. Get informed on these and other helpful tips on preparedness by visiting redcross.org
, and FEMA.gov