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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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Preventing Frozen Water Lines

It looks like it's turning out to be another brutal Minnesota winter!  And along with the extreme cold weather and deep frost levels we tend to see an increase in frozen water lines.  Besides being a nuisance, broken or frozen water lines can put a serious strain on your wallet.  Whether indoor or outdoor, service lines are the homeowner or property owner’s responsibility.  This includes the pipe connected from the water main (usually in the street) to and then through your home.  Listed below are a few precautions you can take to help protect your lines:

  • Insulate your water pipes in unheated areas of your home.  Crawl spaces and attics are likely areas where pipes could freeze.
  • Be careful about turning your heat down at night or while you’re on vacation.  If it’s set too low, water pipes located on outside walls or uninsulated areas could be in danger of freezing. 
  • If you’re leaving on vacation ask a friend or neighbor to check your house each day to make sure that your furnace is working.  For extended vacations, consider shutting off the water and draining the pipes.  
  • Check the temperature of your water daily.  Use an outdoor thermometer and put the tip in a stream of cold water.  If the temperature is 40°F or lower, start running a pencil-width stream of water continuously from a faucet in your home; preferably from a basement utility sink.  The cost of proactively running your water is much, much less than paying a plumber to thaw your line.  Please call our office at 763.441.2020 to let us know you’re going to be running your water.
  • If you start seeing rusty or dirty looking water, check the temperature of your water immediately.  This is a sign that your water line is close to freezing.

The good news is warmer weather will eventually return, but it’s important to keep in mind that frost doesn’t typically start to thaw until April, so you’ll want to keep a close eye on things until then.  If you have any questions on freezing water lines, or are concerned you may be at risk, please contact Elk River Municipal Utilities at 763.441.2020.