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Milwaukee Water Works: Tips to prevent water pipes, meters from freezing

Milwaukee Water Works

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Water Works officials are urging city residents to do what they can to prevent water pipes and water meters from freezing in this bitter cold.

It is colder near the floor and along the walls of a basement than at the ceiling, so make sure warm air is allowed to circulate around water pipes and the water meter. The pipes most likely to freeze are nearest a wall, door, window, and along the floor. Here are some actions you can take to prevent pipes from freezing:

  • Wrap pipes with insulation or heat tape.
  • Open the doors to the rooms where the pipes and water meter are located to allow warm air to circulate around them.
  • If your kitchen or bathroom sink is located against an outside wall, insulate the wall to prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Open the cabinet doors below sinks to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.
  • You may choose to let a trickle of water run from a faucet such as a laundry sink, as moving water in pipes helps to prevent freezing. Make sure the sink drain is not clogged. While you would be charged for the additional water use, the charge will be lower compared to the cost to you to repair a frozen or burst pipe.
  • If the water meter is in an outdoor pit, check to see that the pit cover fits properly and there are no cracks into which cold wind could blow. The pipes, valves, and the water meter inside such pits should not touch the concrete walls.

The Milwaukee Water Works is here to assist you if you have no water or your water meter is frozen or damaged.

  • Customer Service Center, Zeidler Municipal Building, 841 N. Broadway, Room 406 Milwaukee, WI 53202
  • Open Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • For 24-hour drinking water emergency service, customers may call 414-286-3710.
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