Borough Clerk

Posted on: November 1, 2017

Winter Weather Tips for Your Water Pipes & The Polar Vortex


WINTER WEATHER IS COMING                              

Winters can be harsh on plumbing please take necessary precautions to prevent your water meter and pipes from freezing temperatures. Those located on outside walls, in basements or in crawl spaces are particularly vulnerable to the cold. They can easily freeze and break during very cold spells and lead to costly repairs.

Following these important steps may help prevent expensive problems later.

Start Outdoors

  • Disconnect and drain the garden hose connection and outside hose bibs.
  • Close outside vents, crawl spaces and doors so cold air does not seep inside.
  • Repair broken windows and seal any cracks in walls.
  • Have your automatic lawn sprinkler system turned off and winterized.


  • Wrap water pipes that are vulnerable in commercially available insulation or heat tape that should be plugged in all winter. Cold air and higher winds will penetrate any voids in the structure.

Locate the Shut-off Valves

  • Locate the valves on either side of the water meter and make sure they are accessible to turn off in an emergency. Use caution when operating older valves they could break or be damaged. You can label them so that others can find them quickly. Also valves are located under most fixtures such as toilets and sinks.

Check the Heat

  • If you are going away, maintain heat in the dwelling to help protect water pipes from freezing.
  • If you plan to turn off the heat, drain all the water from the pipes, toilets, water heater, furnace and other water fixtures. Contact the natural gas or oil supply company to winterize your heating systems if needed.

More Tips for Freezing Weather

  • If a sink is located on an outside wall, open cabinet doors to allow warmer air to reach the water pipes underneath.
  • If you have had problems with frozen pipes in the past, keeping a trickle of water running from the nearest inside faucet may help. During extremely cold weather, this trickle should be the size of a pencil point. You will be billed for the water used but this procedure may help prevent costly plumbing repairs resulting from broken pipes.
  • In case of frozen pipes you may contact a licensed plumber to assist with any repairs.

Thank you, Ramsey Water & Sewer Department

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