When temperatures plummet, water freezes, and when it freezes, it expands. This puts extreme pressure on your pipes, which can cause them to break – leading to expensive repairs. In fact, burst pipes are one of the most common causes of property damage during winter.
Pipes most vulnerable to freezing are
pipes exposed to severe cold weather, such as outdoor hose, sprinkler and swimming pool lines
indoor water supply lines that are in unheated areas, such as basements/crawl spaces, attics, garages or under kitchen sinks
pipes that run along exterior walls with little or no insulation
Here are several ways you can prepare your pipes for winter
Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas.
If your water meter is in an unheated area or near drafts from outdoors, insulate it to keep it from freezing.
Close outside doors and windows, and fill cracks in walls and around windows to eliminate cold drafts near water pipes.
Open kitchen and/or bathroom cabinet doors to allow the warm air from your home to circulate around the pipes.
If you’ve had a previous issue with frozen pipes or a frozen meter, leave a small stream of water running at the faucet farthest from the water source or next to an outside wall during periods of sub‐freezing winter temperatures. The cost of the water used will be substantially less than the amount charged by the Erie County Water Authority or a private plumber should your service need thawing again.
If you plan to be away during cold weather, leave the heat set to a temperature no lower than 55°F.
If you have any questions please call Customer Service at (716) 849‐8444, Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Preventing pipes and meters from freezing is much easier (and cheaper) than trying to thaw them!
Please note the following
Section 4.07 of the Erie County Water Authority Tariff states, “ In those cases where a customer‐owned service pipe 1” in diameter or less is frozen, the thawing may be done by the Authority at the expense of customer.”
Section 6.05 of the Erie County Water Authority Tariff States, “All meters will be maintained by and at the expense of the Authority insofar as ordinary wear and tear are concerned, but the customer will be held responsible for damages due to freezing, hot water or other external causes. In case of damage or lost meter, the Authority will repair or replace the meter and the cost will be paid by the customer, as specified in paragraph 14.09.