YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Yorktown residents are being warned by the New York State Office of Emergency Management to take extra precaution to ensure that water meters and pipes do not freeze during the current cold streak.
One thing residents can do is wrap pipes in insulation or layers of old newspapers, said Yorktown plumber Paul Hassett. Newspapers should be wrapped with plastic to keep out moisture.
“Another thing is make sure there’s no drafts coming in from things like cracked windows,” he said. “A lot of times you get a little bit of a cold breeze and that’s what causes them to freeze.”
Temperatures have been bitter cold the last few days and no relief is predicted for several more. Overnight lows are expected to reach single digits again Thursday night, with wind chills as low as -4 degrees, according to Weather.com. There is a chance of snow Friday afternoon and evening, with 1 to 2 inches of accumulation expected.
Homeowners can also leave cabinets open to allow more heat to get to un-insulated pipes under a sink or appliance near an outer wall, Hassett said. Even if nobody is home, heat should be set no lower than 55 degrees.
“If it gets real cold sometimes people leave water running a bit,” Hassett said. “Just crack the faucet and let it dribble a bit. That’s if you’re in a house that freezes up a lot.”
In the worst-case scenario of pipes bursting, Hassett recommends teaching family members how to shut off the water to prevent flooding.
“Shut the water off by the water meter,” he said. “If you shut the water off by meter it will stop any water from flowing in. If you shut it off at the main valve it kills the whole house."