Aluminum air pipes

Decatur Utilities advises on protecting pipes in freezing weather

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama (WAFF) – Cold weather returns to the Tennessee Valley Thursday and Friday with temperatures dropping into teens in some areas.

Ahead of the weather, Decatur Utilities would like to remind customers of the danger of freezing water pipes and provide advice on how to prevent it from happening.

Decatur Utilities gave these tips on protecting pipes:

  • Make sure exterior faucets are protected by foam insulation
  • Disconnect the exterior water pipes
  • Make sure foundation vents and crawl space access doors are CLOSED to prevent cold air from entering the crawl space
  • If you have interior faucets on exterior walls, open cabinet doors to allow hot air to circulate
  • Let the water drip lightly from the indoor faucets to keep water flowing through your pipes
  • Know the location of the shutoff valve for your main water line. (Note: This is different from the DU valve in your meter box.)

If your pipes freeze, Decatur Utilities also offers options to thaw them:

  • Keep faucets open to allow water to drain out and potential steam to escape
  • Apply heat to the frozen pipe using a hair dryer or hot towels. DO NOT use open flame heat such as acetylene torches, etc. due to the risk of fire. Radiators are OK – IF the area is free from combustible materials!
  • Apply heat safely until the water flow returns to normal.
  • Once the water flow returns, examine ALL remaining faucets in the house to make sure that no other pipes are frozen.
  • If you hear water running inside a wall OR notice a leak, immediately turn off your home’s main valve and call a plumber.
  • If you do not have a main valve or if you know the location of your valve to shut off the water, contact Decatur Utilities at 256-552-1400 and one of our field workers will turn the AU valve into a water meter. Do not attempt to access this DU valve yourself.

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