What impact does frost have on your pipes and your water meter?

Up to 50 centimeters of snow in Madrid, orange avalanche alert in Corsica, vehicles stuck on the A40 in Ain, flakes in flurry over the North and East departments of France …

In recent days, weather events have made headlines. And it doesn’t seem to be over, as a cold snap, due to atmospheric warming in the North Pole region, is likely to bring an icy air mass over Europe and France by the end of the month.

Frost-sensitive installations

Mercury is likely to decline and these negative values ​​are not without risks for drinking water systems. Buried at different depths, the 878,000 kilometers of pipes (water supply service France) under our feet are sensitive to strong temperature variations and cold, which cause movements of the ground. The pressure exerted can cause breakage and therefore water cuts.

How do you protect those in your home? The specialized company Suez advises to surround all exterior pipes or in rooms without heating with an insulating sleeve or polystyrene, as well as those located at the entrance and exit of the water meter. “You have to avoid glass wool, paper or straw,” he specifies.

Protect the meter, user responsibility

In addition to the pipes, the meter is also one of the facilities to take care of when the country shakes. Installed outside the home or in an unheated room, it is also a potential frost victim because it can break under the pressure of water, the volume of which increases as it solidifies.

However, if the meters are effectively owned by the water distributor, it is also the responsibility of the user to ensure their maintenance and therefore their protection.

Frozen water meter: the procedure.

To avoid the worst, you can protect your meter by caulking it with polystyrene sheets (if you are not a handyman, suitable protections are sold in specialized stores) or fill a bag with polystyrene chips and put it on top. .

If despite these good deeds, the water meter is frozen, first turn off the water to avoid flooding when a thaw occurs. Using a heat source, such as a hair dryer, will help unblock the frozen pipe. On the contrary, you should never use a flame! If the meter is damaged, contact your dealer: their technicians are the only ones authorized to intervene.