ST. LOUIS, MO — The most common cause of a water main break is ground pressure. Moisture in the ground above the pipe freezes and expands putting pressure on water pipes and they burst.
The phenomenon is different in your house. Brian Russell with Missouri American Water and joins us to talk about frozen pipes. Most frozen pipes in a house can be avoided.
Before frigid weather sets in:
- Know the location of your main water shut-off valve. If a pipe freezes or bursts, shut the water off immediately.
- Protect your pipes and water meter. Wrap exposed pipes with insulation.
- Know which areas in your home, such as basements, crawl spaces, unheated rooms and outside walls, are most vulnerable to freezing.
- Eliminate cold air sources near water lines by repairing broken windows, insulating walls, closing off crawl spaces and eliminating drafts near doors when temperatures are consistently at or below freezing:
- Allow a small trickle of water from both your cold and hot water faucets to run overnight to keep pipes and meters from freezing. The cost of the extra water is low compared to the cost to repair a broken pipe. Customers should implement wise water use practices and collect the running water for later use.
- Open cabinet doors to expose pipes to warmer room temperatures to help keep them from freezing,
although be careful to not create a tripping hazard.