Keep Water Flowing, Not Frozen

Winter 2018
Keep Water Flowing,
Not Frozen
Prevent frozen and broken pipes
You can save yourself the hassle and cost of emergency repairs
by taking a few simple steps to reduce the risk of burst pipes
before freezing weather sets in:
Drain or blow out all irrigation systems.
Remove hoses from outside faucets and install an
insulated cover on faucets.
Insulate or install heat tape on water pipes exposed to
the cold.
If you have installed heat tapes, check to be sure they
are working.
Make sure all foundation vents are closed or plugged.
Secure basements against the cold. Fill drafty cracks and
repair broken windows.
Look for your main shut-off valve, usually located where
the water pipe enters your house. If you do not have a
main shut-off valve, install one in case of emergency.
The City of The Dalles Public
Works Department has insulated
your water meter with either a
thermal blanket or wood chips. If
you lift the small metal door on
your water meter and notice that
the thermal blanket is missing,
call the Public Works Department.
Please do not pull out your meter
lid to check if it is insulated
because you could accidently
damage the wire connected to the
meter box lid.
P u b lic Wo rk s D e pa rtm e n t
(541) 296-5401
During a Cold Snap
We suggest that you take a few extra steps when winter
temperatures drop below 20-degrees:
Open cabinet doors below sinks located against outside
walls. Insulation in the walls may not be thick enough to
keep pipes from freezing.
Turn on a small but steady stream of water at the inside
faucet farthest away from where your water supply
enters your home. Flowing water does not freeze as
quickly as still water.
If You Have a Frozen Pipe
The Benefits of Good Grease Trap Maintenance
You might suspect that you
have a frozen pipe if you turn
on the tap and no water flows.
Never use a flame
or electric
appliance, such as
a hair dryer or
heating pad, to
If you cannot find the location
of the frozen pipe, call the
Public Works Department. We
will check to see if the water
meter is frozen. If it is not, the
problem is in your household
plumbing and it is your
responsibility to fix it.
You can thaw pipes by
warming towels or blankets
in the clothes dryer and then
wrapping them around the
frozen pipe. Repeat this
process until water flows.
If you don’t have a clothes
dryer in the home, the safest
and cheapest thing to do is
to wait for the weather to
warm and for the frozen
pipe to thaw.
thaw a frozen pipe.
Winter Vacation Tips
Burst houshold
pipe repairs are
the customer’s
If you find a frozen
and burst pipe:
Turn off the main
shut-off valve so that
water will not flood
the area when the
weather warms and
the frozen pipe
Call a plumber if you
don’t know how to
repair the pipe.
Drink and cook with
your emergency
water supply until the
broken pipe is fixed.
If you go on a winter vacation, these tips can help you return to a
comfortable home:
• Shut off water using your main shut-off valve.
• Turn off your electric water heater at the breaker. If you have a
gas water heater, call Northwest Natural for instructions.
• Drain household piping: Turn on all taps until water stops flowing.
Flush each toilet.
• Keep the heat turned on to at least 55 degrees while you are
away in case there is a cold snap.
When you return from a winter vacation:
• Turn on cold water faucets in your home.
• Slowly turn on your main shut-off valve.
• When air has been pushed out of the pipes and water flows
smoothly from all taps, shut off your faucets.
• After pipes have refilled with water, it is safe to turn on your
water heater at the breaker. If you have a gas water heater, call
NW Natural for instructions.
• Wait for an hour or so for water to heat before showering or
washing with hot water.
Avoid costly repairs and property damage. Winterize your water pipes
to keep water flowing, not frozen.
Updated December 2017
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