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Protect your water pipes and meters during cold weather

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (City of Fort Wayne) – With temperatures dropping to single digits and then below zero in the next few days, City Utilities reminds customers that pipes and water meters can freeze, causing significant damage and costly repairs.

Here are some tips to help residents protect their homes.

  • Run a small trickle of lukewarm water to help protect your water meter and pipes during cold temperatures. The flow should be about the diameter of a pencil lead.
  • Wrapping pipes that run through unheated garages or crawl spaces can help prevent freezing. This can be with insulation tape or molded flexible pipe sleeves over the entire length of the exposed pipe as well as valves and joints.
  • Protect meters in unheated garages with an insulated box, and the garage door should be closed to hold in as much warmth as possible. For residents with an outdoor meter in a pit, ensure the lid is not broken or missing.
  • Be aware of the location of your master valve or a main water shut-off control. That will allow you to turn off all the water coming into the house if you have a broken pipe. The valve is usually 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 against an exterior wall. Opening the cabinet doors will allow warm air to reach the pipes. Consider using a space heater to keep warm air circulating near drains and water pipes.

Residents with no water and suspect it’s because of a frozen meter should call 311 to report it. If it’s after-hours, a recording offers an option to connect to the water maintenance dispatcher.

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