Town offers cold weather guidance
Posted December 20, 2022 at 9:10 am by San Juan Update
The Town of Friday Harbor shares some advice about preventing frozen water pipes during this week’s extended cold stretch.
With consistently freezing temperatures forecasted this week, the Town is reminding residents and business owners to take steps to prevent frozen water pipes. Following these simple tips can protect plumbing and prevent costly repairs and higher water bills.
Before freezing weather:
- Advise all household members where the main water shutoff valve is located in case of emergency.
- Make sure hoses are disconnected from outside faucets.
- Make sure water pipes in unheated parts of your home, including crawl spaces, are insulated.
- Seal all openings in the basement around the foundation, windows, and doors.
- Insulate all pipes in your basement that are near windows.
- Drain all underground irrigation systems.
During freezing weather:
- Make sure you heat all rooms of your house that have plumbing fixtures. Water pipes in unheated rooms are subject to freezing and could cause extensive damage.
- Leave the cabinet doors open to allow the heat from the room to enter if you have pipes that are located on an outside wall.
- Keep meter box lids closed to prevent cold air from freezing the meter.
- If you have experienced problems in the past during freezing periods and you have exhausted all other solutions, you can leave a trickle of water running from the highest faucet in the house. This trickle should be a steady stream slightly larger than the lead of a pencil.
If you have a frozen pipe:
- Never thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame.
- Use hot air from a hair dryer, heat lamps, heat tape, or electric heaters to thaw a frozen pipe.
- Also consider using an incandescent lightbulb to thaw pipes slowly, by placing it next to pipes that are frozen. Be sure to keep the bulb away from combustible material to avoid starting a fire. Today’s LED bulbs don’t let off much heat and likely won’t be useful for this purpose.
Customers are reminded to contact Town Hall at 360–378-2810 for assistance with turning on or off water at the meter. Municipal code states that tampering with water meters is prohibited. For after-hours help, call the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency line at 360–378-4151.
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