Winter is coming — how to avoid frozen pipes this season

WESTERN SLOPE, Colo. (KREX) — One of the first signs your water pipe froze is little to no water out of the faucet. Frozen pipes can catch you off-guard in the western slope’s mild winter climate, City of Grand Junction Water Service Manager Mark Ritterbush also says it can cause pipes to break and water damage around your home.

The biggest cause of frozen pipes in the valley and something residents can prevent may surprise you: open garage doors.

“Having your garage door unnecessarily open lends itself to making your pipes more likely to freeze when it is cold, plus it makes it harder to keep your house warm,” Grand Junction Water Service Manager Mark Ritterbush mentions.

Ute Water serves almost 90 thousand customers a day but phone calls increase for all water providers during winter — most about frozen pipes.

One of many ways you can keep water pipes in shape is to keep a steady trickle running from the faucet, but Ute Water’s Andrea Lopez encourages smart irrigation with this precaution.

“While you’re letting that water drip, maybe fill up a pet’s bowl or a pitcher of water that you could then use to water plants,” Ute Water External Affairs Specialist Andrea Lopez suggests, “Something where we can reuse that water so that it’s not going right down the drain but we’re able to use it and promote water conservation.”

If pipes freeze up, your provider or a plumber can fix it. There are also things you can do like opening up a cabinet but here are some other tips to keep your pipes flowing.

“If you do have an exposed pipe, you can wrap and heating tape around it or insulate the pipe as exposed pipes do have a higher chance of actually freezing as the temperature begins to drop,” Lopez informs.

“The main thing to not do is just do not get a propane torch to thaw the pipe out,” Ritterbush stresses, “It’s a fire hazard, you could melt the solder that’s actually holding your pipe joints together because it can break that way or, if the water doesn’t thaw at the same time, that pressure can cause your pipe to split.”

If you’re not careful, frozen pipes can put an unwanted chill on your house this winter. Every water provider has a technician on call to help you keep your pipes working like they should.

One big tip from water providers is always know where the main shut-off valve is for your water because it can prevent and reduce more damage.

If you can access the main shut off valve, you can pick up a label like this from your water provider–for your convenience.

Source: Grand Junction Local News | Winter is coming — how to avoid frozen pipes this season