Prevent Frozen Water Pipes and Water Meters 

January 5, 2018

With plenty of Winter 2017/18 still ahead of us, the Milwaukee Water Works (MWW) reminds residents that water pipes and water meters exposed to cold air may freeze and break, resulting in no water and an expensive repair. MWW shares some tips for preventing this freeze-up in your home or business: Milwaukee.gov/water.

Property owners are responsible for protecting pipes and the meter from damage. If you own vacant residential or commercial property, check that pipes and meters are exposed to heat and circulating air and are not closed off behind cabinets and doors. If there is no heat in the building, call MWW to have the water shut off to the building. Please call Customer Service, (414) 286-2830, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. After 5:00 p.m. on weekdays, and at any time weekends, call the Milwaukee Water Works Control Center, (414) 286-3710. The Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) number is (414) 286-8801.

Protect Your Water Pipes and Meter 

• Pipes most likely to freeze are nearest a wall, door, window, and along the floor.

• Interior temperatures in your home, including the basement, should never drop below 32 degrees.

• Open doors to rooms where the pipes and water meter are located, and open cabinet doors below sinks to allow warm air to circulate.

• Wrap pipes with insulation or heat tape.

• If your kitchen or bathroom sink is against an outside wall, insulate the wall to prevent pipes from freezing.

• You may choose to let a trickle of water run from a faucet such as a laundry sink, as moving water in pipes helps to prevent freezing. Make sure the sink drain is not clogged. While you would be charged for the water use, the charge will be lower compared to your cost to repair a frozen or burst pipe.

• If the water meter is in an outdoor pit, check to see the pit cover fits properly and there are no cracks into which cold wind could blow. The pipes, valves, and the water meter inside such pits should not touch the concrete walls.

The Milwaukee Water Works is here to help if you have no water or your meter is frozen or damaged: 

• No Water: Call (414) 286-2830, Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

After 5:00 p.m. and on weekends, please call (414) 286-3710. TDD (414) 286-8801.

• Frozen or damaged water meter: Call (414) 286-8000, Monday-Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

After 4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and at any time on Sunday, call (414) 286-3710. TDD (414) 286-8801.

24-hour water emergency: Call (414) 286-3710.

If you suspect damage to your water pipes, please call a licensed plumber for assistance.

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