Protect People, Pipes & Pets in Cold Weather

The Town of Wake Forest urges residents to take precautions as near and below-freezing temperatures enter our area.

To avoid water pipes breaking due to the cold air, residents are advised to run at least one faucet in their home or business at a thin stream. This allows water to flow through the pipes and lowers the risk of broken water lines during freezing conditions. Unlike other liquids, water expands when it freezes. When water pipes freeze, the expanding water can break the pipe, and customers can be left with a thoroughly soaked house when the pipes thaw.

During periods of colder weather, the Town of Wake Forest and the City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department (CORPUD) typically receives calls from customers reporting broken water pipes. When pipes break between the water meter and the home or within the home, the customer is responsible for repairs. Since CORPUD operates and maintains Wake Forest's water system, it is responsible for repairing any damage to pipes between the water main under the street and the meter, or in the main itself, which rarely happens since water runs continuously in the mains.

The Town of Wake Forest offers these additional tips during a hard freeze - about 30 degrees (F) or below for more than one hour:

  • Insulate all outside pipes with cloth or a similar material to help prevent freezing. All piping in attics, including those to water heaters, should be protected as well.

  • Check to make sure the cover to your water meter fits tightly. If your pipes do freeze, you can use the valve inside the meter box to shut off all the water to the house, helping to prevent indoor flooding when pipes thaw.

  • If you have a backflow assembly on your water service line, it, too, may freeze with very cold temperatures. Insulate the assembly properly by wrapping or covering the pipe. Do not cover the bottom relief opening on the underside at the middle of the apparatus to avoid creating other flooding problems.

  • Commercial water customers should also wrap any fire lines in their buildings. Disconnect any outside water hoses from spigots, as water trapped inside can freeze and crack the hose.

  • The Wake Forest Fire Department advises residents to be extra careful when using supplemental heating units. Make sure all combustible materials, such as drapes or chairs, are at least three feet away from any heating unit.

  • To reduce the chance of fire, avoid using flammable liquids to start fireplaces and do not leave a fireplace unattended. Most importantly, check your smoke detector to make sure it is working properly.

  • If you are cold outside, you pet is, too. If possible, bring outside pets indoors during cold snaps, especially at night when temperatures dip to their lowest.

  • The Wake Forest Police Department recommends that you check in on neighbors and family members who may be more susceptible to cold weather conditions, such as the elderly or disabled. If you are unable to reach them, WFPD will conduct a welfare check for you. Simply call 919-554-6150 to request the service.

For more information, call CORPUD on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. at 919-996-4540. On nights and weekends, call 919-829-1930.