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Drain those faucets, wrap those pipes before Saturday night

December 12th, 2008 · Comments

With a major storm expected around midnight Saturday, Seattle Public Utilities is urging everyone to prepare their homes to prevent problems such as water pipe bursts. Here’s a press release we received with lots of tips on what to do, and where to go for more information:

a. Prepare your water pipes for cold weather, ahead of time. Shut off outside faucets, drain the water and protect them by insulating them with rags or foam covers. Pipes in exposed or unheated areas (attics, basements and garages) should be wrapped with tape and insulating materials, available at local hardware stores. Drain and remove all outdoor hoses, and shut off and drain in-ground sprinkler systems.

b. Once it drops below freezing, protect indoor sink pipes that are against exterior walls, by opening under-sink cabinet doors, allowing heat to circulate. During severe cold, allow the faucet farthest from your front
door to slowly drip cold water. Set your thermostat no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit, day or night (even if you are away).

c. Do not leave water running in unoccupied buildings.

d. Please don’t use hair dryers to thaw frozen pipes!

e. If a water pipe breaks, immediately close the main shut-off valve to stop excessive flooding. If you cannot turn off the main shut-off valve, SPU customers can call (206) 386-1800 and a crew will turn off the water at the meter for a standard service charge.

f. In the event of snow, residents are asked to help keep street drains clear by removing snow and other debris – if it can be done safely. As the snow melts, blockages in the gutters or drains will hinder runoff, increase the risk of flooding, and make the morning commute more difficult.

g. If an inlet or street drain appears to be blocked by snow or debris, try to safely clear a channel to provide a path for the runoff. If the drain cannot be cleared, or if the cause of the blockage or flooding is uncertain,
call Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) at (206) 386-1800.

Heavy rain following closely after heavy snowfall can increase the chance of landslides due to soil saturation that reduces slope stability. Property owners on slopes are advised to clear both drains on their buildings and storm drains near their property. If a landslide damages your property and you have an immediate concern for your safety, leave the premises and call 9-1-1.

Seattle property owners with structures affected by or endangered by a landslide may contact the Department of Planning and Development at 206-684-7899, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., for a rapid evaluation of damage. Such evaluations are not meant to provide a comprehensive assessment, which
will need to be completed by a private structural or geotechnical engineer.

Learn more at http://www.seattle.gov/util/.

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