Stuck in Tucson Without Water? Here's Help

Megan Van Schaick

water faucetYou know that enormous cold weather system wreaking havoc all over the country? Well, even some of the warmest climes are freezing -- literally. Tucson, Arizona has suffered an enormous shut-down of water resources thanks to the freezing temperatures. Thousands of homes and businesses are currently without water as more than 90 crews try to get things back online.

What happened?

Temperatures got so cold overnight that electronic controls at the city’s reservoirs and boosters started to malfunction, automatically shutting down water pipes. In addition to that, thousands of homes are dealing with frozen pipes and even burst water mains.

So what can all those people do now?

The first step is to determine if the water is frozen in your home’s pipes or if the problem is with the city’s malfunctioning system. The best way to do this is to simply turn on a faucet. If no water comes out at all, it’s a good bet the city’s pipes are the problems. If you get a small drip or can hear the water trying to move through your pipes, chances are good your pipes are frozen.

If your pipes are frozen, you can work on defrosting them:

  1. Open the faucet nearest the frozen pipe -- this might be your kitchen sink, as it usually faces the outside.
  2. Wrap the pipe in a towel (you’ll probably have to go into the crawl space or basement for this) and secure it with duct tape.
  3. Pour hot water over the pipe until water begins moving through it.

You can also try wrapping the pipe in a heating pad, and sometimes even a hair dryer will provide enough heat to thaw the pipe.

FYI, for all of you facing freezing temps tonight: leave a faucet dripping. It just might save you a busted water main in the morning.

What are your tips for solving the problem of frozen pipes?


Image via andrewk100/Flickr

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