Out in the Cold!
With the cold weather on its way, the City of Redmond Water Utility would like to remind our customers the importance of protecting your water pipes from freezing.
Many homes in our area have the main supply pipe enter through the garage. Most common problems with freezing and breaking occur in the garage area, so if possible, provide some heat to the area. Pipe insulation, heat tape and faucet covers (found at most hardware stores) can also be used to protect your plumbing. Be sure to locate and mark your main water shut off (often in the garage) as you may need to find it in a hurry in the case of a broken pipe.
Fire suppression lines and tankless hot water systems are concerns in newer home garages. All of these water lines must be kept at a temperature above freezing to avoid problems. If you leave your home unattended while taking a trip to Grandma’s house during the holidays, it is especially important not to turn the heat down too low. Broken lines can cause serious damage if water runs for a long period of time before anyone notices.
Outdoors, disconnect and drain garden hoses. Detaching the hoses allows water to drain from the pipe so an overnight freeze doesn’t burst the faucet or the pipe it’s connected to.
If the water line freezes, it is possible to thaw the pipe without damage. First, make sure you know how to turn the water off at the meter outside in case of trouble. With a tap open in the house, so the water can move, apply heat slowly to the frozen area with a hair dryer. If you don’t have a hair dryer, you can wrap the frozen section with rags or towels and pour hot water over them – it's messy, but it works. Never use a torch or open flame. This method can heat the pipe too quickly and will greatly increase the chance of the pipe bursting. Even more important, if a fire starts, there is no water to extinguish it.
If you have any questions, or would like us to show you how to turn your water or fire system off in case of an emergency, please call the water operations staff at