Prevent Frozen Water Pipes

The following tips can help ensure uninterrupted water service and prevent frozen pipes when the outdoor temperature is very low:

  • Disconnect garden hoses and cover faucets outside the home.
  • Insulate the pipes nearest external walls with either pipe insulation or heating tape.
  • Close any openings, vents, or windows in crawl spaces or basements.
  • Open cabinet doors that enclose pipes to allow heat to reach the pipes.
  • Leaving a faucet slightly open to run a small stream of water can be effective. Limit the stream of water to no larger than 1/8 of an inch, about the size of a pencil lead.
  • Homes with an internal temperature of 68 degrees or above are less likely to experience frozen pipes.

Know where your main water valve and the valve on your water heater are located. The valve is usually located just inside the building foundation where pipes enter a crawl space or basement. The master valve can be turned off to prevent water damage if your pipes break.

If your pipes burst and you are unable to locate or shut off the master water valve, or if you have lost water service, call the Water Utilities Emergency Line at 316-262-6000.

Water Utilities crews will shut off the water at the meter when requested. In emergency conditions, it may take several hours for crews to get the water shut off due to high demand.

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