The winter chill is setting in and more arctic air is expected to arrive this weekend. The City of Tallahassee is urging citizens to take precautions ahead of this impending cold snap.
To prevent water pipes from bursting due to freezing air, utility customers are advised to run at least one faucet in their home or business on a thin stream. This allows water to flow through the pipes and reduces the risk of water pipes breaking in the event of a freeze.
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Unlike other liquids, water expands when it freezes. When water pipes freeze, the expanding water can break the pipe and customers can end up with a completely soaked home when the pipes thaw.
When freezing temperatures approach, citizens may see water dripping from taps in parks and public spaces across the region. This is part of the City’s cold weather plan to prevent or minimize problems caused by the cold. Signs should be posted nearby when this happens, but if you see water dripping lightly from a hose when arctic air threatens, please do not turn it off. It’s intentional.
During periods of cold weather, municipal utilities, as well as local plumbing contractors, typically receive calls from customers reporting broken water pipes. When the pipes break between the water meter and the house or inside the house, the customer is responsible for the repairs.
City Utilities repairs any damage to the pipes between the water pipe below the street and the meter or in the pipe itself, which rarely happens since water is constantly running through the pipe.
Tips for pipes
The City offers these additional tips when temperatures drop extremely low:
- Insulate pipes located outdoors or in the attic with a rag or similar material to help prevent freezing.
- Make sure your water meter cover fits snugly. If your pipes freeze, you can use the valve inside the meter to shut off all water in the house, which helps prevent indoor flooding when the pipes thaw.
- Properly insulate your discharge assembly by wrapping or covering the pipe. Do not cover the bottom emergency opening on the underside in the middle of the device to avoid creating further flooding problems.
- Wrap commercial fire lines in buildings.
- Disconnect outdoor water hoses from faucets, as water trapped inside can freeze and crack the hose.
Practice fire safety
- Use caution when using supplemental heaters.
- Make sure all combustible materials, such as curtains or chairs, are at least three feet away from any heating unit.
- Avoid using flammable liquids to start fire pits and do not leave a fire pit unattended. Once the fire is out, let the ashes cool in the hearth for several days.
- Check your smoke detector to make sure it is working properly.
Monitor people, pets and plants
- Bring outdoor pets indoors during cold spells, especially at night when temperatures drop to their lowest.
- Check on neighbors and family members who may be more susceptible to cold weather conditions, such as the elderly or disabled. If you are unable to reach them, TPD will conduct a wellness check for you. Simply call the Consolidated Dispatch Agency at 850-606-5800 to request service.
- Bring potted plants indoors and cover garden beds by placing stakes around your plants and using fabric (such as blankets, sheets, towels, or drop cloths) to create a tree-like structure. a tent.
The City of Tallahassee wants to make sure all residents know what to do when the forecast calls for a hard freeze or other inclement weather. Customers can call 850-891-4968 for utility needs or report service issues through the city’s free DigiTally app.
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