Broken water lines can cause unsafe conditions. If a pipe bursts inside your home, be aware of standing water that can short circuit an appliance, giving you an electrical shock.
A break in a large water main outside may cause unsafe walking or driving conditions. Report breaks immediately by calling KUB at 865-524-2911.
Hot water can also be a safety hazard. Young children and senior citizens are especially susceptible to scalding.
Setting your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees can help prevent scalding. The minimum recommended temperature for a dishwasher; however, is 130 degrees. You can still set the water heater to 120 if you have a dishwasher with a water-heat option.
Regardless of the water heater setting, you may want to install widely available anti-scald devices to help prevent injury.
Check the temperature in the bathtub by moving your hand around in the water before placing a child in the tub. Never leave a child alone in the tub for any reason.
Prevent Frozen Pipes
Water pipes that freeze and burst can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home. Here's how to minimize your risk:
- Insulate pipes in crawl spaces, in attics, and near outer walls.
- Open cabinet doors under sinks and vanities to let warm air in. If you have reason to be especially concerned (for example, if your pipes have frozen before), you may also want to let hot and cold water faucets trickle into an open drain overnight.
- Disconnect hoses and cover outside faucets.
- Close outside vents when nighttime temperatures fall below 32 degrees.
- Know where your water cut-off is and operate it several times yearly. Make sure it is properly marked and in good working condition.
Before going out of town, take these steps:
- Keep your thermostat set no lower than 55 degrees.
- Turn off your water valve to prevent damage if the pipes burst.
- Arrange for someone to check your home or building to make sure the heat is on.
If your pipes freeze:
- Shut the water off immediately. If the water is on when frozen pipes thaw out, water that collected behind the ice will shoot out of the ruptured pipes into your home.
- Never try to thaw a pipe with an open flame or torch. Use a hairdryer instead.
- Be careful of electrical shock in areas of standing water or dampness.
- Contact a licensed plumbing contractor if you are unsure that you can safely make repairs to your frozen pipes.