Frozen pipes can present an invisible threat – one that you might not recognize until the weather starts to warm. By then, the water damage can be significant and costly. Fortunately, keeping your home warmer, at a consistent temperature, and better insulated can help protect your pipes from freezing this winter.
Which Pipes Are Most at Risk?
Pipes that are most exposed to the elements, including those outdoors and along the exterior walls of your home, may need extra protection during winter months. These include the following:
- Outdoor hose hookups and faucets.
- Swimming pool supply lines.
- Lawn sprinkler lines.
- Water pipes in unheated, interior locations such as basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages and kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
- Pipes running against exterior walls with little or no insulation.
How to Help Prevent Frozen Pipes
- Check your home for areas where water pipes are located in unheated or poorly insulated areas. Be sure to check your basement, attic, crawl space, garage and within cabinets containing plumbing. Hot and cold water pipes should both be insulated.
- Products such as pipe sleeves or UL-listed heat tape or heat cable can help insulate or heat exposed water pipes.
- Close inside valves supplying water to outdoor faucets and hookups.
- Open outdoor faucets to allow residual water to drain; be sure to keep them open during the cold weather months, while the water supply is turned off.
- Keep garage doors closed to help protect water pipes located in the garage.
- Open the doors on cabinets where plumbing is located. This can help allow warmer air to circulate around the pipes.
- For pipes that are at risk of freezing (both hot and cold water pipes), let water drip from faucets.
- Keep the heat in your home set at a minimum of 55 degrees.
Why is a Frozen Pipe a Concern?
When water begins to freeze, it expands. This can cause both plastic and metal pipes to burst, possibly leading to significant water damage to your home.
- Since water expands when it freezes, it puts unwanted pressure on pipes.
- As water freezes, the force exerted from the expansion can cause a pipe to burst, regardless of the strength of the material.
- You may not know you have a burst pipe as the water has turned to ice. Once the temperature starts to warm and thawing begins, leaking and flooding can occur.
What Do You Do if You Have a Frozen Pipe?
If you have a leak, turn the water off immediately to prevent water damage and call a licensed plumber to make repairs. If your home is heated by an older steam heating system, consult with your heating professional to determine if it is safe to continue to run the heating system with the water supply turned off for your particular heating system.
The City will complete a final leaf pick-up starting on Monday, December 17th. The crews will cover each ward in an efficient manner. All leaves must be placed at the curb by this date in order to be picked up. Please note that this will be the last leaf pick-up of the season.
COMBINED SEWER SMOKE TESTING NOTIFICATION
The City of Elkins is conducting a sanitary sewer smoke testing evaluation designed to detect ground water and storm water that is entering the sanitary sewer system through defects in the pipe or illicit connections such as catch basins or downspouts. We will be testing sewer lines in the Teaberry Hills areas. The smoke testing will be performed during the week of November 26th, 2018. In the event of inclement weather, the smoke testing will continue into the following week.
Smoke will be blown into the sewer system at manholes, and may be seen coming from roof vents, building foundations, or manhole covers. The smoke is a non-toxic substance which is clean and harmless to humans, pets, food, and material goods and creates no fire hazard. The smoke should not enter your home unless you have defective plumbing or dried up drain traps. Ensure that all plumbing traps, including basement floor drains, are not dry and contain water. If you have any seldom used drains, pour water into the drain to fill the trap. If smoke enters the home through faulty plumbing, this indicates the possibility that dangerous sewer gases are also entering your home and you should consider contacting a licensed plumber to identify and make repairs. You can report any presence of smoke within the house to the crews working in the street conducting the tests.
Please avoid unnecessary exposure to the smoke. Although the smoke is relatively harmless, smoke of any kind can be irritating to the nasal passages for some people. If you experience smoke irritation, it should be temporary and quickly disappear after exposure has ceased.
If you or any member of your family have respiratory problems, are immobile, or have any other health condition that you feel we need to be aware of, please contact the City of Elkins Operations Division, at 304-635-7021.
Once again fall leaf pick-up has presented us with challenges. The wet weather, late leaf fall, reduced work force and availability of only one leaf truck has slowed our progress. We continue to work as quickly as we can, however, if you are concerned about letting leaves sit on your grass for too long, please feel free to bag them up. The bagged leaves may be taken to the yard waste roll off container at 31 Jones Drive on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p., or Saturday 9:00 a.m. – noon. The facility is closed on Sundays and holidays.
As long as time allows, our crews may be able to collect the bagged leaves. Like regular leaf collection this work is weather and manpower dependent and so no pre-determined schedule can be provided. If the crews can tell the bags contain leaves, they will tear them open and collect the contents.
We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your patience.
The City of Elkins will hold a public informational meeting on Monday, October 29, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. concerning the Phase II Sewer Project as mandated by the Long-Term Control Plan. All individuals interested in learning more about this project are encouraged to attend. The public meeting will be held in Council Chambers at Elkins City Hall, 401 Davis Avenue.
Leaf pick up will begin Monday, October 22, 2018. There is no set daily schedule for a particular ward or area; we go to where the heaviest concentrations of leaves are in the interests of efficiency. If you are concerned about letting the leaves sit on your grass for too long, please feel free to bag them up. As long as our crews can tell the bags contain leaves, they will tear them open and collect the contents.
Please remember that this process is weather dependent. For example, we can’t effectively pick up leaves in a pouring rain.
Also, keep in mind that we only have one leaf truck to cover the City. Please be patient and we will get to each property as soon as we can.
Leaf pickup continues through the fall until either we have gotten all the leaves, or snow has started falling.
What to do with your leaves
To make use of this service, rake leaves into piles in the grassy area between the curb and the sidewalk.
Please do not place leaves in the street, as this causes problems with storm drains as well as parking and traffic concerns. City employees will not go into yards to collect leaves.
Residents may drop off yard waste between 6:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Wednesdays and 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturdays, at the City of Elkins Wastewater Collection Plant located at 31 Jones Drive (adjacent to Robert E. Lee Avenue/Flood Control Road).
Walnut St. will be closed from Grant St. to Findley St. on 8/29/18. Please choose an alternate route to avoid delays.
Beginning May 14, 2018, the Elkins Police Department will be monitoring and issuing citations for vehicles parked facing against the flow of traffic per W.Va. Code § 17C-13-4(a). This activity occurs primarily in residential neighborhoods and presents a significant safety concern for both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. This is not a new law, but the City recognizes that it has not been routinely enforced and is therefore offering this notification so that residents may have the opportunity to correct their parking habits prior to the issuance of a citation.