Prevent Pipes & Water Meters from Freezing

Water Meters

Customers should protect water meters and supply lines from low temperatures to prevent freezing. Frozen pipes may burst and can result in water damage to your property. The Lawrence Water and Sewer Department is not responsible for the customer's service line or water meter.

Meters & Pipes

To protect your meter(s) and pipes, ensure that they are kept warm; they should be insulated or located in areas that are kept warm. Keep garage doors closed to ensure pipes located there are kept warm; even a cracked garage door can allow entry of enough cold air to freeze pipes and meters. Other vulnerable areas include attics, basements, crawl spaces, or other unheated or uninsulated areas where pipes are located.

Solutions for Frozen Pipes

If you believe your pipes are frozen, the quickest solution is to call a plumber to have your pipes checked. Lack of water in your home is likely due to pipes frozen within your home. Customers should immediately shut off the master water shutoff, usually located inside your property, just before the water meter, and also contact a plumber.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

As the cold weather endures, continue to ensure water meters and pipes are kept warm; they should be insulated or located in areas that are kept warm to protect them from freezing and possibly bursting. Uninsulated areas (like attics, basements, and crawl spaces) or exterior walls are also vulnerable if they contain pipes or your meter. The Department recommends simple preventive actions that can greatly reduce the threat of frozen or burst pipes:

  • Locate your master water shutoff so you can turn off your water where it comes into your home or business if a leak or break occurs
  • Set your thermostat to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit at all times, even when your dwelling is unoccupied
  • Insulate vulnerable areas and install pipe insulating products on water lines
  • Close garage doors completely if the water meter or water supply lines are in the garage
  • Check unoccupied residences during and after a cold snap

If Your Water Line Breaks

If your residence or business experiences a water line leak or break, immediately shut off the master water shutoff, which is usually located inside your property just before the water meter.

More Information

For more information on preventing or thawing frozen pipes, or for help locating your water meter or master shutoff, call the Lawrence Water & Sewer Department at 978-620-3110.