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News release from the City of Fort Wayne:
Protect Your Water Meter and Pipes
Frozen Pipes Can Lead to Costly Repairs
(January 18, 2019) – As temperatures drop to single digits, City Utilities reminds customers that pipes and water meters can freeze causing significant damage and costly repairs.
A small trickle of lukewarm water can help protect your water meter and pipes during cold temperatures. The flow should be about the diameter of a pencil lead.
Customers are responsible for meter damage or replacements. If the meter is in an unheated garage, it should be protected with an insulated box, and the garage door should be kept closed to hold in as much warmth as possible.
For residents that have an outdoor meter located in a pit, be sure the lid is not broken or missing. The meter is the responsibility of the customer and replacements start at $130.
Tips to protect your home and pipes
- Wrapping pipes that run through unheated garages or crawl spaces can help prevent freezing. Use insulating tape and wrap it over the entire length of exposed pipe. You can also use molded flexible pipe sleeves. Cover all valves, joints, etc. with insulating tape or fiberglass insulation.
- Know where your master valve or a main water shut-off control is located that will allow you to turn off all the water coming into the house if you have a broken pipe. The valve is usually located in a spot near where the main water line enters the house. If a pipe breaks somewhere in the house, you can turn off the water at this main valve.
- Open doors below sinks, especially if the sink is located against an exterior wall. Opening the cabinet doors will allow warm air to reach the pipes. Remember that drains can freeze, too. Residents may want to consider using a space heater to keep warm air circulating around drains and water pipes.