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Frozen Water Lines
Frozen Water Lines
Frozen Water Lines
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I’ve heard that water pipes are freezing due to the weather and that I should run my water to keep the pipes from freezing. Is that true?
It depends. Most water service lines (pipes) going into the home are not going to freeze. About 13 pipes have frozen out of 1,490 accounts or approximately one half of one percent of all homes and businesses located in our service area.
If there is a chance of the water line freezing, why not just tell everyone to run their water?
Because the chance is approximately 1/2 % that it will happen. We want to conserve precious water resources and keep our prices low for our customers, most of whom will not be affected by a frozen water line this winter. Running water unnecessarily will cost all our customers additionally per month to prevent an event that is unlikely to occur.
How do I know if I should run my water to keep my pipes from freezing?
If your pipes have already frozen once this season and you have been advised by City staff to keep the lines open by running water. In this case, you will not be charged for water and sewer used. If you wish you can test your water temperature. Please call the Water Department at 507-665-9941 if it’s 36 degrees or lower or if you need assistance in taking the temperature.
What is the proper procedure for running water to prevent water service lines from freezing?
water from the lowest point in the house, usually a laundry room sink or tub. The idea is to keep the water flowing constantly at a rate of about 1 gallon every 4 minutes - the stream width of a pencil. Do
run hot water, as hot water will freeze faster than cold water.
The water at my faucet seems almost freezing. Should I be running my water?
The first step is to test your water temperature. Please call the Water Department at 507-665-9941 if its 36 degrees or lower
or if you need assistance in taking the temperature. Failure to contact the Water Department prior to running water to prevent water lines from freezing may result in the property owner or tenant being responsible for the excessive water and sewer charges.
My house never had frozen pipes before this year. Why did my pipes freeze now?
Water service lines (pipes) are down into the ground 6.5 to 7.5 feet. Right now, frost is down into the ground about the same level as the water service lines in some areas. Some water service lines (pipes) are freezing in these conditions. There are a number of factors that determine the depth of the frost in any given winter.
What can I do to keep it from freezing again?
Once your line has been thawed out, it is essential to keep the water running continuously as instructed: 1 gallon every 4 minutes. Turning the water off, even for a few minutes, could cause the once frozen line to refreeze. Remember this line already froze this year and is likely to refreeze if you do not continue to run the water.
The weather is supposed to get above freezing. Can I stop running my water now?
No. If you are running your water as instructed, keep the water running until we contact you. The frost will
take much longer to leave the ground than a few days of above freezing temperatures. That is why it is important to contact the Water Department staff regarding your frozen water service.
I chose to run my water without contacting the Water Department. Can I get a credit on my utility bill for the excess water and sewer usage?
Failure to contact the Water Department prior to running water to prevent water lines from freezing may result in the property owner or tenant being responsible for the excessive water and sewer charges. Upon contact, we may send a staff person to your place to determine if running water is necessary.
Can water temperature be used to predict if my water pipe will freeze?
Perhaps. The City of Le Sueur has no experience with this. With this winter’s deep frost, the ground around water pipes may not be frozen, but it is unlikely to help warm the water pipe either. So, if the water temperature falls below 36 degrees and you are concerned, please call the Water Department to discuss your options.
If my water service line does freeze, who is responsible for thawing it out?
The City of Le Sueur is not responsible for thawing out your pipes, as the water service is the homeowner’s property from the house to the main in the street. However we will assist you in contacting the appropriate professional to fix the problem. Also, we will assist whomever you hire
Can the City of Le Sueur predict which water services will freeze?
No. Most of the water pipes that froze this winter have no history of freezing in the past. While relatively few in number, the frozen pipes are occurring at random all across the City of Le Sueur service area. In some areas of the community, staff have seen frost depth approaching the water service depth. Unfortunately, the City of Le Sueur cannot determine the frost depth surrounding each of the 1,490 water service lines that exist within the community.
If I experience a frozen water service after normal business hours, who do I call?
Please call 507-665-9941 and follow the instructions to get the On Call Water Department staff to respond to the incident.
I have been running my water as instructed by the Water Department and my sewer line now backed up, who is responsible and should I call the City of Le Sueur?
The city is not responsible for sewer service lines freezing or failing due to running water to keep you water service from freezing. However you should still call the City if this occurs so it can be determined if the problem is your sewer service or city sewer main and assist as needed.
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