Wingecarribee Shire Council is reminding residents to protect their water meters from the winter chill.
The call to shelter your meter comes as the Shire enters the coldest part of the year.
Council’s Water Reticulation Officer Chris Geddes said as the temperature drops below freezing the number of calls to fix burst water meters increased.
“With the Shire experiencing a run of 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 uncovered 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.
“Much like a bottle of water expanding in a freezer, so too will water expand when frozen in the meter,” Chris said. “Often the meter will then burst as a result of the pressure.”
“This is actually a built-in safety feature of the meter which is designed to protect the pipes and taps inside the house.”
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 cover it,” Chris said.
“Purpose-built water meter boxes can be purchased from most plumbing or irrigation stores,” Chris 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,” Chris added.
“Another option for those freezing nights is to wrap an old towel or some plumbers foam around the exposed meter and pipework.”