Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

Cold weather tips to help protect your water service

RPU Cold Weather Tips

 

·    Customers who have experienced frozen water services in the past, or who know their service is susceptible to freezing, should begin monitoring the temperature and condition of their water. Taking your water’s temperature is a simple way to avoid a costly problem. If the water temperature reaches 35° Fahrenheit, or if water sporadically appears rusty, then the water service could be in danger of freezing.

o   To reduce the possibility of a water service giving in to the cold weather, let a tap or faucet flow continuously with the water stream about as wide as a pencil. This will allow about one-quarter gallon per minute to run through the pipes in a home, thus reducing the likelihood of a freeze-up of the water service.

o   The cost of constantly running one-quarter gallon per minute is about $10.30 per month. Customers who turn on their water for this purpose should call RPU at 280-1500 to discuss the increased water usage.

·    Customers who have outside faucets should make sure garden hoses are disconnected so the faucet can drain properly.

o   If left connected, the faucets will not drain and can freeze and break. The line usually breaks in the wall so the first sign of a problem is water running through the wall.

 

·    Customers who live in mobile homes should make sure their heat tape is turned on and working properly. If the heat tape is turned off or malfunctioning, the pipes and water meter can freeze and break. 

 

·    If there is exposed plumbing in closets or cabinets on an outside wall, open doors and let warm air from your home circulate into the closet to prevent frozen pipes. Also, make sure the furnace cold air return is not pointing toward your water service lines.

 

 

·    If you are leaving your home for an extended time, please contact RPU with the dates you will be gone. Also leave a name and phone number of a person in the area who would know how to reach you in case of a utility emergency at your home. To ensure safety and protection while you are away, you may also consider turning your water off at the valve located near the water meter.

 

·    If you would like bills forwarded to your winter or temporary address, please give us that address.

 

·    Drive safe in RPU work zones. Water crews are working in freezing conditions this time of year and that can affect your ability to control your vehicle. Please slow down and use caution.

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