We can all agree, Wisconsin winters are beautiful. While this is true, snow and frigid temperatures are a good reminder for home and business owners to make sure their water pipes are protected from freezing or bursting.

Water meters and pipes:

  • Double-check outdoor hose bibs to make sure all hoses are disconnected and faucets are turned off and drained.
  • Make sure your basement is properly insulated and check for areas where cold air may be rushing in.
  • Insulate pipes in unheated areas like crawl spaces, unheated garages, and attics.
  • Leave some heat on in unused areas of your home.
  • If you leave home for a few days, keep your thermostat on at least 55 degrees and open any cabinets where sink plumbing is against an outside wall.
  • Never try to thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame! If you have frozen water pipes, please call 608-266-4661.
  • Ensure your furnace vents are clear of snow and ice. A clogged furnace vent can cause a backup of toxic carbon monoxide in your home.
  • Find the master shut off valve that turns the off water to your entire home – it’s usually in the basement – and make sure everyone in the household knows where it is in case a pipe does freeze and burst.

Clearing snow from fire hydrants:
Madison Water Utility cares for the city’s 9,009 fire hydrants. If a hydrant is lost or buried in snow, firefighters can lose valuable time trying to locate it when they first arrive at a fire. Please help keep this critical part of our water system ready in case of a fire by clearing snow from the hydrants near your home.
If you are interested in “Adopting-A-Hydrant”, please send an email to: water@madisonwater.org