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Posted Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Pittsboro, NC - With the forecast of record-breaking cold temperatures Chatham County urges customers to protect their water pipes from freezing. Frozen pipes can burst and cause substantial damage if a large amount of water is released in a home or business.
Below is a list of precautions for protecting water pipes:
Seal Openings & Leaks— Pipes in unheated areas of a house, typically the crawl space and/or basement, have the greatest chance of freezing. Therefore, it is important to seal openings and air leaks in the crawl space or basement, including access doors, air vents in the foundation, and cracks.
You can use insulation or even cardboard, plastic or newspaper to close and seal cracks and other openings. Keep the cold out as much as possible. Your foundation air vents may have hinged covers so the vents can easily be closed.
Trickle of Water— Leave a trickle of water running continuously from the faucet highest in the house. The trickle should be a steady stream the size of a pencil tip, which will only cost a few cents to leave running overnight.
Chatham County strongly supports and encourages conservation. However, water supplies are adequate this time of year, so using a very small amount of water to help prevent pipes from freezing and bursting is a wise precaution. Broken water pipes can cause substantial water loss as well as property damage.
Meter Box Cover— Make sure the water meter cover on your property is closed to prevent cold air from freezing water inside the meter. If the cover of your water meter is broken or missing, please call Chatham County Utilities at 919-542-8270.
Heating Failure— If the heat fails long enough for your house or other building to get close to freezing temperature, or if you have a vacant building with the heat off:
Frozen Pipes— If your water pipes do freeze over:
Irrigation Systems: If freezing temperatures are in the forecast, make sure you have winterized your outdoor irrigation system. By removing water from the pipes, valves and sprinkler heads, contractors can protect systems from potentially serious damage in cold weather. Without these precautions, valves can crack, system mains can freeze and burst, and back flows can create damage. Anything that is pressurized can cause damage to the system if you don't winterize it.
Please contact your local irrigation specialist for more information.
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