95.3 / 88.5 FM Grand Rapids and 95.3 FM Muskegon
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

G.R. Water System: Take Precautions To Prevent Frozen Pipes

pic of thermometer

Winter weather is rocking West Michigan.  And due to below normal temperatures predicted over the course of this next week, the City of Grand Rapids Water System is urging residents and businesses to take precautions against the cold.  

The City of Grand Rapids is warning residents that frozen pipes don’t just result in the loss of water supply but can also break quickly and cause costly damage to buildings as well as belongings.

Water System Manager Wayne Jernberg says that pipes next to an outside wall are the ones most susceptible to freezing, as are those located in crawl spaces, unheated garages, or a basement.

“The first thing you want to do is make sure your pipes are insulated properly. If they’re in the wall, make sure that they’re insulated as well as possible. if it’s in a un insulated area, try to get some heat into that area, open a door, put a fan in there to blow some heat from a warmer area of the building, possibly a space heater can be used.  Never, ever use an open torch or flame to thaw out a pipe if frozen, that’s a risk and could cause a fire.”

If by chance your pipes do freeze… Jernberg offers these tips.

“Never try to thaw pipes yourself.  Contact a plumber, they have proper tools to thaw. Furthermore, if you do have a frozen pipe, get a plumber in there because you don’t know if that pipe cracked. If it cracks and you try to thaw it, guess what? You’ll probably have a leak in your basement with water going everywhere and then you’re really going to need a plumber to help fix it.”

Jernberg notes another important thing to know is where the main shut off valve is located inside your home or building.  He adds if you have questions the City has a winter preparedness guide on their website at grcity.us.  Jernberg adds, you can also call 311 or 456-3000 for help.