Tips to prevent frozen pipes from Iowa City Water Division - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Tips to prevent frozen pipes from Iowa City Water Division

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With winter weather upon us, the City of Iowa City Water Division is warning residents to take precautions before frozen pipes cause significant damage.

Here are a few tips:

- Never set your thermostat below 55 degrees. This applies to single-family homes as well as apartments.

- Do not shut off heat to areas of your residence that contain plumbing or water fixtures. Keep doors open to bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry facilities. Open doors to cabinets that contain pipes, especially those located on the north side of the house, to expose the plumbing to warmer air inside the house.

- Make sure windows and storm windows are closed, and repair any cracks or holes around doors and windows to keep cold winter winds from blowing in and freezing water pipes and meters.

- If your home has unheated areas, wrap pipes with heat tape (follow manufacturer's instructions) or cover them thoroughly with pipe insulation.

- If your plumbing does freeze, try to thaw it naturally by turning up the thermostat in your home and opening doors and cupboards to circulate warm air. You should not apply direct heat to your pipes, but if necessary, a hair dryer or another source of indirect heat could be used to help thaw frozen pipes.

- Residents who plan to leave town for the upcoming holidays are reminded to take precautions to keep household pipes from freezing while you're away. If you plan to be away for an extended period of time, arrange for someone to check your house or apartment. Show others in your household and house-sitters what to do if water pipes do freeze. Be sure you know where your water shut-off valve is located (usually in the basement, between the water meter and a wall) and show others where it is in case of an emergency.

- If an emergency does occur and your water pipes or water meter freeze and/or break, contact the lowa City Water Division for assistance at their 24-hour emergency number: 319-356-5166.

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