Dozens of homeowners dealing with frozen pipes in Sandy

Feb 1, 2023, 6:20 PM | Updated: 6:23 pm

SANDY, Utah — There is a part of Cheryl Altman’s Sandy house she doesn’t usually go into.

“I’ll turn on my phone light,” she said. “I’m kind of stuck.”

It’s a small crawl space under her home you enter behind a little bookshelf. Tuesday, she had to crawl into the room because she was hoping there was an easy fix.

“This is where the water from the city comes into my house,” she said while pointing to pipes covered in black electrical tape. “I have never had it freeze like this.”

It’s been cold the past two days and the water in those pipes was frozen. She knew something was wrong when all the faucets in her home didn’t do what they normally do.

“This is hot, and this is cold. They’re both open. Obviously, nothing is happening,” she said with a laugh.

Altman isn’t the only one who called a plumber this week. Sandy City’s Director of Public Utilities says his department has heard from close to 50 people wondering if something was wrong with the city’s water pipes. Crews went to each home to check but didn’t find anything wrong with the city lines.

“Every single instance was on the private side, so from the water meter into the house is owned by the property owner and that’s where it was frozen,” said Tom Ward, who is Sandy’s Director of Public Utilities.

Ward suggests running a trickle of water overnight, maybe pencil thick, to prevent pipes from freezing. Especially with more cold temperatures expected Wednesday night.

“Water is about 60 to 62 degrees. That will warm up those pipes and keep them from freezing. For the 3 to 5 dollars a day it will cost you, it is a lot cheaper than calling out a plumber,” he said.

For frozen pipes, Ward says using a hair dryer on pipes might help thaw frozen lines. For those worried about wasting water because of Utah’s drought, Ward says water that goes down a drain ends up in a place that could use it.

“It goes to a wastewater treatment facility and within a day or two, it’s in the Great Salt Lake,” said Ward. “So, it’s not lost in the atmosphere, it’s not soaked up by the grass or anything like that.”

For people like Altman, though, it is a reminder of what Utah winters used to be like.

“It’s insane,” she said.

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Dozens of homeowners dealing with frozen pipes in Sandy