Stretch of bitterly cold temps may cause pipes to freeze

Grand Rapids
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — With a long stretch of bitterly cold temperatures in the forecast, Grand Rapids city officials are warning residents about the potential for frozen pipes.

Grand Rapids Water Manager Wayne Jernberg says frozen pipes can cause loss of water as well as break easily, causing costly damages to buildings. He notes that pipes next to an outside wall, in crawl spaces, unheated garages or basements are most susceptible to freezing.

The city released the following tips to prevent frozen pipes:

  • “Open doors or access points and use a fan to blow warmer air in from a heated area.
  • “Temporarily open your faucet and keep a steady but slow drip of cold water. This will keep water moving and less likely to freeze.
  • “Exposed pipes in areas with little or no heat should be wrapped or insulated or shut off and drained.
  • “The water meter, typically located in the basement, is the property owner’s responsibility to protect from freezing. A replacement fee will be charged for frozen or damaged meters.”

If a pipe does break, residents should go to the main shut off valve, turn off the water then call a licensed plumber.

Jernberg urges residents to never try to thaw a pipe with a torch or open flame but use a hairdryer, fan or exhaust from a vacuum cleaner.

If you do have a water-related emergency or question about your water, call 311 or 616.456.3000 for help.

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