Be prepared for freezing winter temperatures that could cause frozen water lines!
Our natural winter climate includes extreme cold temperatures that last extended periods of time and can cause water pipes to freeze.
The Town of Jackson Municipal Code § 13.04.160 requires all water users to keep service pipes protected from frost at their own expense.
Frozen pipe prevention tips:
- Frequently use your water supply – Flowing water often breaks up ice below freezing, while a lack of regular water use through pipes increases the risk of pipes freezing. Keeping a small trickle of water (the size of a pencil or straw) flowing or dripping from a faucet farthest from the intake and into a drain can be effective.
- Keep the heat on, not lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Open cabinet doors under kitchen and bathroom sinks to allow heat inside.
- Plan ahead if you will be away from home for an extended time. Ask a friend or neighbor, or hire a property manager, to check your house daily to make sure it’s warm enough to prevent freezing and faucets are running/dripping enough water.
- Check your attic, crawl space, and basement to make sure your pipes are properly insulated and your outdoor venting is closed. Seal any areas that allow cold air into your home, such as around vents and pipes. Ensure trailer skirting is in place.
- Wrap any exposed pipes. Pipes can be insulated with foam sleeves; the thinner the pipe, the thicker your insulation should be. Trace heating (low voltage electrical cables wrapped around pipes) is another option. Isolate outside faucets and exposed pipes with an internal shut-off valve, or protect them with insulation.
- Place hot water jackets on older water heater storage tanks.
- Share this information with your friends and neighbors or HOA.
What to do if your pipe freezes:
- If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, most likely the pipes nearest a wall, door, window, or along the floor are frozen:
- Leave faucets turned on and begin warming those closest to the faucet, working toward the frozen section. NEVER try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame. You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe with the warm air from a hairdryer. DO NOT use electrical appliances in areas of standing water. Be aware of electrical shock and be safe!
- Once water has begun to flow again, let a pencil-sized stream of water flow through the faucet until normal heating is restored to the area.
- Eliminate cold drafts and allow warm air to circulate around the pipes to prevent freezing again.
- If you can’t access pipes, can’t thaw them, or they are cracked or split, call a certified plumber.
- If you detect that your water pipes have frozen and burst:
- Turn off the water at the main shut-off valve in the house. If you can’t find your internal valve, turn off the outside stop valve. Leave the water faucets turned on. (Make sure everyone in your family knows where the water shut-off valve is and how to open and close it.) Contact a certified plumber if you are not able to shut off the water at the main valve.
- Contact the Public Works Department, 307-733-3079, to have your connection valve shut off.
- Once the pipes thaw out again, be sure to check for cracks or leaks that may occur from freezing.
- If you can’t access pipes, can’t thaw them, or they are cracked or split, contact a certified plumber.
- Contact your insurance agent to notify them of the damages.