Public Safety

Worried about frozen pipes? Here are eight steps you can take to protect your home

A pull-out faucet has the edge when filling things like dog dishes and coffee makers outside of the sink bowl.  (Kohler)
A pull-out faucet has the edge when filling things like dog dishes and coffee makers outside of the sink bowl. (Kohler)

Temperatures are expected to dip below zero for much of this week, including a possible low on Wednesday reaching -35 degrees.

With such prolonged frigid temperatures, the city of Cedar Rapids has issued a list of steps residents can take to help protect their home from suffering freezing or burst water pipes.

  • Open cabinet doors under sinks to help circulate warm air near pipes.
  • Eliminate drafts from rooms containing your meter or pipes. Seal cracks from cold air and cover drafty windows with plastic or insulation.
  • Insulate water pipes that may be vulnerable to cold air drafts with wrap that contains fiberglass or other known insulating materials.
  • Cover your meter with a blanket or rug to protect it.
  • Always keep your home’s temperature above 55 degrees, even if you are not home for an extended period.
  • Leave a thin stream of water running from the tap furthest from your water meter when temperatures drop below 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Protect outdoor faucets/hose bibs by disconnecting hoses and turning off any indoor shut-off valves to those faucets.
  • Ensure your water meter can be turned off in case of emergency. Turn your shut-off valve on and off a few times to make sure it is in working order. If the valve is inoperable, contact a plumber to make repairs.

If you take steps to protect your home but still experience issues with water flow you should take these steps.

1. Check your water meter. If water is leaking or spraying from your meter, or the bottom is cracked, your water meter may be frozen. Call Water division Customer Service at 319-286-5900 as soon as possible. There is a charge to replace your meter.

2. Feel for frozen pipes. Pipes located along exterior walls are the most susceptible to freezing. To thaw pipes you can contact a licensed plumber or use hot towels or a hair dryer. Never use an open flame or heat tape to thaw pipes, as this could cause a fire.

3. Check with your neighbors. If you and your neighbors do not have water service, there may be a water main break. Call customer service to report the problem.

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