RPU urges customers to check their water temperature - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

RPU urges customers to check their water temperature

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -

Even though temperatures are expected to be above freezing tomorrow, this winter has been a bit colder than most.

That could lead to frozen pipes, but there is a way to avoid the expensive problem.

Water lines are typically buried about six feet underground.

As of Tuesday, the frost line is at 48 inches, or four feet, but it could be deeper in some areas. Rochester Public Utilities say when the line is that deep, they start to get frozen water lines.

Imagine coming home and turning on your kitchen faucet.

"You go to turn it on, and nothing comes out," said Tony Benson, RPU Communications Coordinator.

It's the middle of winter, which probably means your pipes are frozen. 

So how could this have been prevented?

"It sounds crazy, but check your water temperature," said Benson. "Turn that cold faucet on, let it run from a little bit, hold a thermometer under there, and then read it."

When you go to test your water temperature, keep "36 degrees" in mind.

"If it's at 36 degrees or colder that's when we recommend them running a continuous stream, about pencil width from that tap, or any tap in their house," said Benson. 

As you can imagine, running a continual stream of water comes with a price tag, but it may be the lesser of two evils.

"It could be upwards of $60 or more per month," said Benson. "But to have your front yard dug up and the water service thawed or repaired, whatever it may be, that could be significant! I mean it could be upwards of $1,500 to repair."

RPU offers a "Service Assured" program that can protect customers from unexpected worries and costs that might occur with frozen pipes.

"If your water service freezes then RPU pays for that repair," said Benson. "It's $1.99 per month for one utility and $2.99 per month for both utilities, electric and water." 

RPU says, when testing your water, you can use any thermometer that can measure temperatures below 36 degrees.

If you do need to let your water run, give RPU a call so they are aware.

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