Keep a thin line of water trickling from faucets with pipes on an outside wall to prevent the water line from freezing. (DHI Media File photo)
Keep a thin line of water trickling from faucets with pipes on an outside wall to prevent the water line from freezing. (DHI Media File photo)

DELPHOS — The City of Delphos Utilities Department would like to remind residents to monitor their water lines as frigid air appears to be locked in for the next several days.

Pipes in attics, crawl spaces and outside walls are all vulnerable to freezing, especially if there are cracks or openings that allow cold outside air to flow across the pipes. Pipes freeze based upon three reasons: a drastic drop in temperature, poor insulation and the thermostat being set too low.

The Utilities Department advises that, with some preparation, homeowners can help keep their pipes from freezing, and avoid costly repair and aggravation caused from broken pipes.

Below are tips on how to prevent pipes from freezing during prolonged periods of extremely cold temperatures:

Outdoor water freezing prevention

• Disconnect and drain outdoor garden hoses

• Drain the water from your sprinkler supply lines

• Cover and insulate any outside faucets

Indoor water freezing prevention

• Close inside valves that supply outdoor spigots, open the outside spigot valves, and allow any remaining water to drain

• Keep garage doors closed if water supply lines are located inside

• Setting the thermostat in your house no lower than 55 degrees

• Insulate any pipes that are located in unheated areas including crawl spaces, attics, garages, and pipes located against exterior walls

• Consider wrapping pipes in unheated areas with electric heating tape

• Allow a trickle of water to run from the any faucet that have pipes located along exterior walls; the constant flow of water will help prevent water in the pipes from freezing

If a pipe bursts due to freezing water, the first step is to immediately shut off the water at the main shut-off valve. City ordinance requires each residence to have a working shutoff valve installed. Knowing the location of the valve and making sure it is operable, is critical.

This is also beneficial when water needs to be turned off during non-weather related emergencies. In the event of a broken pipe, this valve allows you to turn the water to the house off before any additional damage occurs. The shut-off valve is usually located where the water line comes into your house. Once the water is shut off, use an electric hair dryer or portable space heater to help thaw the pipe. Never use a blowtorch or other flammable devices.

For those leaving for extended periods, we recommend setting the thermostat in the house no lower than 55 degrees, having a friend or neighbor check daily to make sure it is warm enough to prevent frozen pipes. The city will only thaw frozen city lines. Residential lines are the responsibility of the property owner.

In the event of an emergency please contact the City of Delphos Utilities Department at 419-695-4010.