Don’t let your water pipes freeze in icy weather

Published on 30 May 2022

Water Meter

Wingecarribee Shire Council is reminding residents to protect their water meters and exposed pipes from icy weather.

The call comes as a strong cold front is expected to sweep through much of New South Wales, bringing below average temperatures.

Council’s Acting Group Manager Water and Sewer Services, Mr Graeme Mellor, said residents should take preventative action and cover their water meters and exposed pipes to protect them from freezing.

“With sub-zero overnight temperatures, it’s not uncommon for residents to find their water meters have frozen solid in the morning,” he said. “This is more so the case for unprotected meters.”

“Often the first sign of a frozen meter is no water coming through the household taps in the morning.”

Unprotected older style water meters exposed to the elements are the most susceptible to damage.

However, there are a few simple tips that residents can undertake to protect their water meter from damage and avoid disruption to their household water supply.

“The most simple and effective method to ensure your water meter continues to work as intended is to protect it with a cover,” Mr Mellor said.

“Purpose-built water meter boxes can be purchased from most plumbing or irrigation stores,” he said. “These have the added benefit of protecting the meter from lawn mower bumps.

“A bucket, plastic tub or an old tyre will also do the trick – you just need to ensure that the meter can still be accessed for meter reading and maintenance.

“Another option for those freezing nights is to wrap an old towel or some plumbers foam insulation around the exposed meter and pipework.”

Residents are also encouraged to protect any exposed pipes that connect to an internal water supply. This will help to prevent them from splitting or bursting in freezing cold weather.

“If customers do experience a burst pipe on their property it is important to turn off the water supply at the stop tap located at the water meter and arrange for a licensed plumber to repair the pipe,” Mr Mellor added.

To report a broken or damaged water meter, phone Wingecarribee Shire Council’s 24/7 Contact Centre on 02 4868 0888.