WATER SERVICES

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FROZEN PIPES

Here are some recommendations to help prevent issues during cold weather:

 

BEFORE WINTER

  • Insulate - Pipes exposed in a home's attic or crawl space are the most susceptible to freezing.

  • Tape/Cables - Water pipes can be wrapped with heat tape or thermostatically-controlled heat cables.  Be sure to use approved products only and follow manufacturer's instructions closely.

  • Seal - Insulate or caulk around pipes, electrical wiring and dryer vents; sealing any small openings where cold air could leak in and cause nearby water pipes to freeze.

  • Shut Off - Use an indoor valve to shut off & drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets and disconnect garden hoses.

 

WHEN COLD TEMPERATURES HIT

  • Open Up - Uninsulated pipes under sinks need heat, as well.  Open cabinet doors to allow heat to reach where pipes are near exterior walls.

  • Stream – Consider allowing water to trickle from faucets overnight, especially those located on outside walls.

  • Temperature Check - The normal temperature of the City of Nashua’s water supply averages 50°.

  • Run Water - Run water from cold water faucet for a couple of minutes, then place thermometer under water stream and wait for the temperature to stop decreasing. If temperature is near 40°, continue to monitor.  If water temperature drops below 40°, consider leaving a faucet running constantly at the diameter of a pencil to mitigate this issue.

  • Notify - Notify the Utility Clerk at City Hall if you are running water for extended periods to mitigate water pipe freezing.

IF YOU ARE AWAY

  • Check - Have a friend or neighbor check your home daily, if possible, to make sure the indoor temperature is maintained.

  • Thermostat - Keep indoor temperature set at 55° or above.

  • Drain - Shut off and drain water from system. (Keep in mind, this will de-activate fire sprinklers.)

 

IF PIPES SHOULD FREEZE

  • Call Plumber - If nothing comes out when faucets are turned on, call a plumber and leave the faucets open.  If you determine that a water pipe has burst, leave water faucets turned on and turn off water at the main shut-off valve inside the house or business.

  • Thawing Pipes - Use a hair dryer to warm a frozen pipe, starting close to the faucet and moving towards the coldest section of the pipe. Never use an open flame or torch.

Water expands when it freezes. If water expands enough, pipes can burst, allowing water to escape, resulting in serious damage.  Pipes made from both plastic (PVC) and copper can burst.  A crack as small as 1/8" can cause a pipe to spew up to 250 gallons of water a day!