How can I avoid frozen meters and pipes?

Cold Weather Tips
Protect your pipes and meter from freezing

Don’t be caught off guard by Maine’s harsh winters with bone-chilling temperatures and biting wind chills. Avoid the hassle of frozen meters and pipes by taking a few simple precautions now!

Precautions You Can Take

Customers should take precautions to avoid damage to their home water and wastewater systems during the winter season. The biggest problem for home systems is the possibility of pipes and meters freezing. Here are some tips to prepare for the cold weather.

  1. Know the location of the water shut-off valve inside your home and test it before winter hits to ensure it is working properly.
  2. Turn off outside faucets and disconnect hoses.
  3. Drain any external fixtures and plumbing not protected from freezing.
  4. Patch any cracks and holes in doors, windows, and walls near pipes.
  5. Insulate water meters, pipes, and faucets in unheated areas.
  6. Service your furnace regularly.
  7. Make sure you have the name and telephone number of your plumber handy.
  8. If you leave your house for an extended period, drain your pipes and lower the thermostat, but never shut it off.
  9. Consider a system to monitor for a loss of heat if you plan to leave your home unoccupied for long periods.

If you suspect a frozen pipe:

The easiest and safest way to thaw a frozen pipe is to heat the room or use a hairdryer or warm water. Never use a torch with an open flame or a welder to thaw the pipe. If a burst pipe has flooded a basement or other space, make sure the power is shut off before entering the area. 

For more information on how you can prevent frozen water pipes, contact the Portland Water District at or 761-8310.