Lake Dillon Fire reminder: Keep an eye on pipes after cold snap


16 January 2013

Contact: Steve Lipsher, Public Information Officer

Office: (970) 262-5209

Lake Dillon Fire reminder: Keep an eye on pipes after cold snap

The recent extreme cold snap that hit Summit County has resulted in numerous frozen pipes and leaks of plumbing and sprinkler systems.

Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue wants to remind residents and visitors that frozen pipes often don’t show damage until temperatures rise above freezing. Conduct visual inspections of all pipes that are exposed to cold air – particularly those outside buildings, in common areas and along external walls and unheated interior areas – to ensure that they haven’t been fractured by ice.

If you get only a trickle of water from a faucet, suspect a frozen pipe and take action before the pipe thaws and major leaks can occur.

The American Red Cross offers these tips:

• Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.

• Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.

• Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.

• Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too. If a leak does occur, isolate the pipe by shutting off the water to that area or the entire building if necessary and have a qualified person perform repairs and inspections of the rest of the system.


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