Cities fair well during cold snap, more chilly temps coming this weekendBy TIM GETER,
Fortunately the hard freeze that engulfed the county last week did not damage the water line infrastuctures in municipalities around Scott County, or many homes. There have been a few reports of lines freezing and people not being able to receive water.
The freezing temperature did not affect the City of Forest like other areas in the state. “To my knowledge, there have been no broken city main water lines and no trouble with our machinery in the cold weather,” Mayor Nancy Chamber said. “Some of our citizens have had broken lines or frozen water lines on private property because of the cold and city workers have done what we could to help those situations but the city infrastructure is in good shape and has not suffered in the cold.”
Public works Water Director, Lee Culpepper in Lake said that town faired well as well. “We haven’t had any problems so far, however when the thawing comes it may be a different story,”
Culpepper said. “We have only had one leak in Lake.”
There were a few cases in the county where people were without water because of the frozen pipes. “We have had a lot of calls about the water being off,” Harrold Bennett, water works official for S-R-G said.
In Morton there was not any significant pipe’s being froze according to Lee McCrory, foreman over water and sewer. “So far we have been fortunate.” However, like S-R-G they have had “frozen water at the meters blocking water getting to some homes.” Also, “We have had very minimum breaks in our main water lines,” McCrory said. McCrory also stated that, “the city of Morton appreciates the patience of the townspeople.
With possible sub-freezing temperatures forcast for this coming weekend residents are reminded that there are ways to prevent water from freezing inside pipes. Exposed to freezing temperature water can freeze instantly inside an uninsulated water pipe, but before cold weather strikes again there are a few solutions that could prevent “busted pipes.” The American Red Cross recently issued a press release offering several tips on how to prevent pipes freezing in and around one’s home.
•Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
• Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
• Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a “pipe sleeve” or installing UL-listed “heat tape,” “heat cable,” or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes — even one quarter inch of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
• Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
• Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
• Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children.
• When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe — even at a trickle — helps prevent pipes from freezing.
• Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
• If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
How to Thaw Frozen Pipes
• If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
• Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
• Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
• Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
• Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.