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Water Services Department

City of Kansas City, Mo.

CONTACT: City Communications Office, 816-513-0232


Tips to protect your pipes

In anticipation of the impending extremely cold temperatures, the Water Services Department (WSD) would like to remind customers that they are responsible for their plumbing and they must ensure that during cold weather their pipes are protected from freezing.

By taking a few simple precautions, water customers can help prevent their pipes from freezing:

    • Leave a pencil-lead-thin stream of water flowing. A small flow of water running from a bathroom or kitchen faucet during the worst of the cold spell can help prevent faucets or water service lines from freezing. You can also leave your cabinet doors open to allow the heat of the house to help keep your pipes from freezing. When away from home for several days, leave the water trickling and leave the heating system inside your home on to keep the pipes warm.

    • Find and test the master shutoff valve. It may be near the water heater or the washing machine. More likely it’s where the water line comes in from the street. If a pipe bursts anywhere in the house ­- kitchen, bath, basement, crawl space - this valve turns it off. So, find it now and paint it a bright color or hang a tag on it. Be sure everyone in the family knows where it is and what it does.

    • Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas. If you have pipelines in an unheated garage or cold crawl space under the house, wrap the water pipes before temperatures decline. Hardware or building supply stores will have good pipe wrapping materials available

    • Seal off access doors, air vents & cracks. Repair broken basement windows. Winter winds whistling through overlooked openings can quickly freeze exposed water pipes. But don’t plug air vents your furnace or water heater needs for good combustion.

    • Disconnect & drain outdoor hoses. Detaching the hose allows water to drain from the pipe. Otherwise, a single hard, overnight freeze can burst either the faucet or the pipe to which it is connected.

What if my pipes break?

If your pipes do break and water is leaking in your home, emergency water cut-off is available from the City of Kansas City, Missouri. A representative from the City will come to your house and shut the water off.* Call 3-11 to reach an attendant 24-hours-a-day.

*There is a $75 fee to turn the water off.

For more information on winterizing your pipes visit our website at For a video about winterization tips, visit our Facebook page at!/video/video.php?v=172441079445208.

For more information, contact Colleen Doctorian, public information officer for the Water Services Department at (816) 513-0232.

The Kansas City, Mo., Water Services Department maintains and operates water collection, processing and distribution systems, stormwater management and control systems, and waste water collection and processing systems for residential and business customers in Kansas City and for wholesale customers in the Kansas City region. Operation is funded entirely by fees charged to customers based on their use of products and services, not by taxes.


City News Releases - 2011

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