LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- Since the start of the new year, Louisville Water crews have had to repair 29 water main breaks due to freezing water. The current workload--17 fixes yesterday and 8 scheduled today--is already above the average of two or three breaks per day.
Due to the freezing weather, temperatures below 39 degrees cause the water in the mains to expand and increase pressure inside the pipe. If the pressure gets too high, the pipe can break.
During freezing temperatures, crews also maintain other issues, such as addressing reports of no water, ensuring fire hydrants are maintained, and salting roads where main breaks have occurred.
A rise in temperatures is not forecasted until Sunday so the spike in main breaks and frozen water pipes is expected to continue.
Louisville Water offers the below tips to minimize the risk and damage from frozen service lines:
• Locate the water shut-off valve. This is the valve that controls the flow of water into the house. It's usually located near the hot water heater, in the basement, or in a utility closet. Turning off the water in the event of a burst pipe can minimize the damage. Once you locate the valve, tag it with a waterproof hanger or a ribbon. Louisville Water has free tags for customers at its corporate office.
• Open cabinets under sinks to allow heat to enter
• Cover the vents to crawl spaces
• Insulate the water lines in the house if they are in unheated basements or crawl spaces
• Keep a small, continuous stream of water running from the cold-water faucet (the size of the water stream should be about the size of a pencil)