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Freeze-Ups
GUIDELINES TO PREVENT LINES FROM FREEZING

WATER UTILITY CUSTOMERS ARE ADVISED TO MAKE AN ANNUAL CHECK OF THEIR WATER PIPING BEFORE THE ONSET OF WINTER WEATHER.  TO PROTECT THE LINES FROM FREEZING THE FOLLOWING STEPS SHOULD BE TAKEN.

WATER/SEWER FROM THE CURB STOP IN THE STREET TO THE HOME IS THE
HOMEOWNER/BUSINESS OWNERS RESPONSIBILITY
1. Plan the plowing, shoveling, and storing of snow to maintain maximum cover over shallow underground lines.
2. Maintain temperature of at least 40F in all basement, crawl space, garage, and closet spaces where there are water pipes.  If this is impractical, wrap the pipes with heat tapes.
3. Check all heat tapes to make certain that they are plugged in and working properly.
4. Insulate all water piping that runs along exterior walls.
5. Run the water for two to three minutes each day to draw a change of water into the service line and house piping.

TIPS TO KEEP WATER METER FROM FREEZING IN COLD WEATHER
1. To prevent meter from freezing, place Heat Tape around meter.
2. DO NOT ENCLOSE METER IN UNHEATED AREA *(see below)
3. Disconnect outside hoses
4. If house is to be vacant notify the Water Department to have the water shut off at the street.
5. From the curb stop in the street to the home is the homeowners’ responsibility.
6. If you hear water running when no water is being used, contact the Water Department to investigate for possible leaks.

*SHOULD YOUR METER FREEZE AND BREAK A NEW METER WILL BE INSTALLED AND BILLED AT FULL COST

IF IT BECOMES NECESSARY TO WASTE WATER TO PREVENT SERVICE PIPES FROM FREEZING, CUSTOMERS SHOULD FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES.
1. Continuously run the cold water at a rate of 1/4 to 1/2 gallon per minute.  The tap used for this purpose should be in a location where the noise of running water will have minimal impact on sleeping, etc. and where damage will be minimal should the drain become plugged.  The room can also be expected to experience an increase in humidity and a slight drop in temperature.
2. Open a tap completely for two to three minutes at least twice each day.  Before retiring and first thing in the morning usually are the most beneficial times.
3. Check the continuously running tap several times each day to make certain it is not closed accidentally or by vibration.  Placing a sign near the tap as a reminder for guests and children is a good idea.
4. DO NOT use a hose or piping to connect a tap directly into a drain.  This creates a cross-connection, a potentially serious health hazard.
5. If your home will be unattended for more that twenty-four hours, have a friend or neighbor check it daily and fully open the tap for several minutes.

REMEMBER THE BEST WAY TO PREVENT PIPES FROM FREEZING IS THE PROPER INSTALLATION AND INSULATION.  WASTING WATER IS AT BEST A BOTHERSOME AND EXPENSIVE TEMPORARY SOLUTION.

The City is not obligated to provide thawing services for lines on the homeowner's side (curb stop to house) or to engage in repair of breaks or leaks in private lines.  

City Hall: 501 S Stephenson Ave. Iron Mountain, MI 49801
P: 906-774-8530 F: 906-774-3774 E:cityhall@cityofironmountain.com