Winter Water Tips

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The Water Department has been responding to numerous frozen water pipe calls and they have all been located inside the home. There are several measures that homeowners can take to prevent their water pipes from freezing. The Water Department would like to offer the following tips:

First locate your main water shut off valve and meter. You need to check your valve and make sure it works in case of an emergency. It is usually located in your basement on the side facing the street. Insure that the area immediately surrounding the valve and meter is warm enough to prevent freezing. In older homes with fieldstone and rock foundations make sure there are no direct drafts from the holes in the walls or gaps in the windows and doors. If these areas remain cold constantly, you should insulate your pipes or wrap them in heating tape. Both of these items can be found in any home improvement store. Remember, even if the room temperature is warm, a direct cold draft on your water pipes, can cause them to freeze!

If you are unable to thaw the pipe, you should then contact a plumber. If the problem is on the street side of your meter, you should then contact the Water Department.

If your water has frozen in the past and the problem has not been corrected, you should hire a water department licensed contractor to replace and lower your pipe. Also, do not forget to turn off and drain the supply to your outside faucets and sprinklers. If left on they will freeze and burst.

To help conserve water during the winter, insulate your hot water pipes. This will help to retain the heat and prevent you from having to run the water long in order to get it hot. If you are going away for and extend period of time, do not turn your heat down too low. Even your heating pipes can freeze and burst during extended cold snaps.

Eric J. Carty
Hopkinton Water-Sewer Manager