Dec 7, 2017
Waukesha — With southeast Wisconsin in the midst of a cold snap, the Waukesha Water Utility is reminding homeowners how to avoid frozen pipes with damage prevention tips.
The utility says common problem areas are pipes near broken or open basement windows, in unheated crawlspaces, under kitchen sinks or cupboards or by an unheated wall.
Warning signs include unusually cold water coming from a fixture, low water flow, extremely cold piping or a sputtering sound when turning on water.
To thaw a frozen pipe, the safest method is using a hair dryer or exhaust from a vacuum cleaner, according to a press release. Never thaw with an open flame or torch, which poses a fire hazard.
If a pipe bursts due to freezing, the utility recommends that homeowners know where the main shut-off valve is located. Also check for clogged drains in the basement to avoid flooding in case of a burst pipe.