In anticipation of sub-zero temperatures, the city of Helena Utility Maintenance Division are advising people to protect their pipes.
“Water doesn’t like the cold,” said Utility Maintenance Superintendent Trent Scheuer. “If the faucet isn’t running at the same level is usually does, that can mean there’s an issue.”
Frozen water can wreak havoc on a home, causing hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on the extent.
“Ten or 15 minutes of keeping an eye on things and checking up on your plumbing and water can save you a lot of money in the long run,” said Scheuer.
Water pipes in unheated parts of the home, including crawl spaces and garages, need to be insulated.
Leave cabinet doors open to allow heat from the room to warm the pipes, especially if the pipes are located on an outside wall.
During prolonged temperatures below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, people should consider leaving a faucet running in the highest part of the home.
“The water running through there is above freezing. If it’s moving through there it’s at least keeping that area slightly heated,” said Scheuer. “It is drastically harder for moving water to freeze than stagnant water to freeze.”
Scheuer also encourages people to report any frozen or broken service lines to the city.
While it is not the city’s responsibility to replace, they want to help spread the work when frozen lines happen and can help connect people with a plumber.