Winter is finally here, and we would like to inform the community about how to prevent your pipes from freezing. The following is a list of suggestions to prepare for the colder weather and keep your pipes from breaking, which could result in costly repairs.
Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing
•Disconnect all gardening hoses and install covers on all outside faucets. •Keep our house temperature at 68 degrees or higher, even if you’re leaving the house for an extended period of time. •Open cabinet doors below sinks to allow heat from the home to circulate. •Identify the location of the main water valve and the valve on your water heater. Learning the location of these valves may come in handy during an emergency. •Wrap pipes nearest exterior walls and in crawl spaces with pipe insulation or with heating tape. This can prevent freezing, especially for interior pipes that run along outside walls. •Close all windows near water pipes; cover or close open-air vents. Freezing temperatures combined with wind drafts can cause pipes to freeze more frequently. •Heat your basement and consider weather sealing your windows. •Insulate outside walls and unheated areas of your home. •If you plan to be away from home for an extended period of time, shut off water supply valves to your washing machine.
Monitor Freezing Pipe Conditions
•Allow a faucet to drip slightly (lukewarm water) in order to minimize freezing. •The first sign of freezing is reduced water flow from a faucet. •Check your faucets for water flow and pressure before you go to sleep and again when you wake up. •Check pipes around your water meter, in unheated areas, near exterior walls and in crawl spaces. These tend to be vulnerable to freezing conditions. •Identify cold air drafts coming in from a flue or chimney chase and caulk gaps that are near pipes.
If a Pipe Freezes
•If a faucet or pipe inside your house freezes, you can thaw it using a good hair dryer. For safety purposes, avoid operating a hair dryer around standing water. •To thaw a frozen pipe, heat water on the stove, soak towels in the hot water and wrap them around cold sections of the pipes. •When thawing a pipe, start thawing it nearest to the faucet. Make sure the faucet is turned on so that melted water can drip out.
If a Pipe Bursts
•Shut off water at the main valve. Corbett Water District can help turn off water at the meter if needed. •If the break is in a hot water pipe, the valve on top of the water heater should be closed. •Call a plumber. Keep an emergency number nearby for quick access. Corbett Water District has a list of local plumbers that can be given upon request; this is for informational purposes only, Corbett Water District has no affiliation with any of the plumbers on the list. It is suggested to verify the plumber you hire is licensed and bonded.
If you have any questions regarding the prevention of freezing pipes, or what to do if your pipes have froze and/or broke, please contact the Corbett Water District office. We are glad to assist in any way possible. Thank you.
Corbett Water District