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13069 Orono Parkway
P.O. Box 430
Elk River, MN 55330-0430
Phone: 763.441.2020
Fax: 763.441.8099
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Tips to Protect Your Water Lines in Cold Temperatures

faucet Elk River Municipal Utilities has had about a dozen frozen water lines this winter. Typically staff would only see one or two per year. Given the frigid temperatures, here are some tips to help prevent frozen water lines:

  • Customers who have had frozen water lines in the past should be monitoring the temperature of their water:
    • If the water temperature reaches 40° Fahrenheit or if the water appears rusty, the service is in danger of freezing. Please make sure you use a basic outdoor thermometer as a meat thermometer will not read accurately. Hold the tip in a stream of cold water for the most accurate reading.
  • Let a tap or faucet flow continuously with a pencil wide stream of water. Since water is flowing continually, this will lessen the chance of frozen pipes.
  • The cost of running a pencil wide stream of water is much, much less than having a plumber come out and unthaw a line. The cost of having a plumber come out is typically between $800 and $1,000. If you wish to be proactive and run a faucet, please call our office at 763.441.2020 and let us know.
  • If you have an outside faucet, make sure garden hoses are disconnected so the faucet can drain.
  • If there is exposed plumbing in a closet or cabinets on an outside wall, open the cabinet door to let warm air from your home circulate into the area.
  • If you are leaving your home for an extended period of time, please call our office so we can make a note on your account. If you have any emergency contact, we would appreciate that information as well.

Although temperatures have been increasing, that doesn't do much to help the frost depth. The frost typically doesn't start to unthaw until the beginning of April. Please make sure you are keeping a close eye on your water service for the next two months. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call our office at 763.441.2020.