As a three-day arctic blast that was expected to bring wind chills in the minus 20s commences, the City of Lawrence offers the following tips to avoid the costly damage that frozen household pipes can cause.
- Run cold water in a fast drip or steady stream about the size of a pencil lead through a household faucet.
- Expose pipes to warm air by opening cabinet doors under kitchen or bathroom sinks. Specifically if they are on an outside wall.
- Eliminate drafts and cold air into basements or crawlspaces.
- Protect exposed pipes in unheated areas with insulation or heating tape.
If residents suspect their water meter or service line is frozen, they can call the city's Utilities Department at 832-7800, and a field representative will respond to thaw the frozen meter or assess the situation. Do not attempt to open the meter pit or thaw the meter.
If residents have frozen pipes, they should shut off water at the master valve, turn off the water heater and ice maker, and call a licensed plumber.
Additional information is available on the city's website.