Town of Jackson fielding calls on frozen pipes

JACKSON, Wyo. — With low winter temperatures hitting the valley recently, the Town of Jackson said this week that they’ve been fielding calls regarding residents who have frozen pipes.

The town sent along a few handy tips that may prove useful: Each year the Town of Jackson Public Works Department receives many calls concerning frozen water pipes. Frozen water pipes can result in costly damages and disrupted lives.

An eighth-inch crack in a pipe can spew up to 250 gallons of water a day, wrecking floors, furniture and keepsakes. Both plastic (PVC) and copper pipes may burst.

So what can you do to avoid frozen pipes?

During freezing temperatures

  • Maintain water flow by allowing cold water to run into the drain. Keeping a small trickle of water (the size of a pencil lead) flowing from a faucet farthest from the intake can be effective.
  • Open cabinet doors to allow more heat to surround the pipes near outer walls.
  • Leave heat turned on at all times. Heat should not be lower than 50 degrees.
  • Plan ahead if you will be away from home for an extended time. Ask a friend or neighbor to check your house daily to make sure it’s warm enough to prevent freezing.
  • Check your crawl space and make sure your pipes are properly insulated and your venting in closed.
  • Trailer skirting should be in place.

Oh no! You already have a leak

  • Don’t take chances. If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, leave the faucets turned on and call a certified plumber.
  • If you detect that your water pipes have frozen and burst, turn off the water at the main shut-off valve in the house; leave the water faucets turned on. (Make sure everyone in your family knows where the water shut-off valve is and how to open and close it.)
  • NEVER try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame. Water damage is preferable to burning down your house. You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe with the warm air from a hairdryer. Start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, working toward the coldest section of the pipe.
  • DO NOT use electrical appliances in areas of standing water. Be aware of electrical shock and be safe!
  • Contact the Public Works Department, 307-733-3079 if you are not able to shut off the water at the main valve.
  • Contact your insurance agent to notify them of the damages.

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