The Treasure Valley is in the middle of a deep freeze, but calls due to frozen pipes or meters don't appear to be any worse than last year, said United Water spokesman Mark Snider.
Because the Treasure Valley isn't expected to thaw out until the weekend or later, homeowners are urged to take precautions to protect pipes from the cold.
"You'd be surprised how many people have their pipes freeze because they leave their garage doors open," Snider said.
Snider said many people leave their garage doors open a few inches to allow pets to come in and out, exposing non-insulated pipes. Those who don't unhook garden hoses from spigots also run the risk of frozen pipes. Vents near non-insulated pipes need to be closed.
United Water serves about 84,000 connections (240,000 people) in Boise and parts of Eagle and Ada County. Customers who have no water should call the water company immediately, as the cause may well be a frozen water meter and that's the responsibility of the water company, and they will thaw it free of charge. Call the 24-hour emergency number: 362-1300.
"As these sub-freezing temperatures continue, the cold is getting deeper in the ground, and were starting to see a few more water meters freezing," Snider said.
But if water is flowing in part of the house, water company officials can give you ideas on thawing pipes but they will not make a visit if water is in the home. You may need to call a plumber. Don't use hot water, a blowtorch or propane heater to thaw frozen pipes.
All homeowners should know where the main water shut-off valve is so they can shut it off if a pipe bursts. If you're planning to be away from home for days during freezing weather, the water company officials recommend leaving a faucet running (pencil-thin stream).
Business owners who close offices for the weekend may also want to consider leaving a faucet running for added security against freezing pipes.
"Any place where there's a chance of cold getting pipes, address it," Snider said. In some cases, you may wrap the pipes in UL-listed heat tape.
For more weatherization tips, visit www.unitedwater.com/idaho.