Frozen Water Pipes and Meters

How can I avoid frozen meters and pipes?

If exposed to cold air or drafts, water pipes and meters can freeze within hours of the onset of sub-freezing weather. Property owners are responsible for protecting their water pipes and water meters (interior or exterior) from freezing.

Preventing frozen pipes and meters is easier than replacing pipes and meters and paying for the damage to your home or business resulting from the water damage that may occur.

So be prepared and take precautions. These steps will help you prevent the damage, expense and inconveniences of having your pipes or water meter freeze.

  • Have your furnace and heating system regularly serviced
  • Inspect your plumbing and insulate cold or drafty areas where plumbing is located
  • Be familiar with your plumbing system and know where your inside shut off valve is located and verify that it is working properly
  • Make sure you have the name and telephone number of a licensed plumber handy

Being prepared for the cold can keep you from being left out in the cold without water this winter.

What if my pipes or meter freeze?

If you should experience frozen pipes

  • Remember, before you try to thaw out a frozen pipe, the pipe may already be broken. When the water is thawed, it will leak. Be prepared to shut off the master shutoff valve.
  • We recommend you call a licensed plumber for any piping beyond the water meter.
  • Do not use a torch with an open flame to thaw.
  • The easiest and safest way to thaw a frozen pipe or meter is to heat the room or use a hair dryer.

If you see or suspect a frozen or damaged water meter please call the Water Meter Division at (978) 373-8487 or (978) 374-2368. The property owner is responsible for the water meter and the pipes and will be charged for any service calls needed to thaw or repair the meter.

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