Metro Water Services has warned residents that water main breaks may be more prevalent as the temperatures begin to rise this week. An increase caused by “ground shift” is expected, water officials said.
Any water main breaks should be reported to MWS as soon as possible at 615-862-4600. If water is seen bubbling up in a roadway or flowing in an unusual place, or residents experience a water outage or unexplained low pressure, it may be the result of a broken water main.
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Current water main break investigations and repairs can be seen on the MWS outage map online HERE. As of 11:45 a.m. there was one break reported near Belle Meade. That repair was ongoing, per the map.
Additionally, MWS said, as temperatures climb out of freezing range, they may reveal previously unknown breaks in private plumbing as frozen pipes begin to thaw.
“We encourage all property owners to monitor homes and businesses for frozen pipes and/or leaks,” MWS said.
Further, homeowners should know where their main water shutoff valve is located in order to prevent further property damage.
Per MWS, pipes that freeze most frequently are:
- Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines and water sprinkler lines
- Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages or kitchen cabinet
- Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation
MWS offered these tips to prevent frozen pipes in your home:
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Close vents to crawl spaces to protect pipes and cover outdoor spigots.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
- When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
If your pipes do freeze, MWS said you can take these steps to thaw them:
- 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.