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Cold Weather Tips

Frozen pipes can wreak havoc and require costly repairs and cleanup.  To help protect your pipes in cold winter weather, keep these helpful tips in mind.

Be Prepared!  Before cold weather sets in:

  • Know what areas of your home, such as basements, crawl spaces, unheated room, and outside walls, are most vulnerable to freezing.
  • Search for pipes that are not insulated or that pass through unheated spaces such as crawl spaces, basements, or garages.  Wrap them with pipe insulation available at hardware stores.
  • If you have heat tape installed on exposed pipes, check it to make sure it is still operational.  Inspect the tape for cracks or fraying.  Make sure it is installed according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
  • Make sure the water to your outdoor faucets is shut off inside your house (via a turnoff valve), and that lines are drained.
  • To save wear and tear on your cooling system, drain any hoses and air conditioner pipes and check for excess water pooled in equipment.
  • If your home is heated by a hot water radiator, bleed the valves by opening them slightly.  close them when water appears.
  • Turn off and rain your irrigation systems.
  • If no one will be home for an extended period of time during extreme winter weather, you should consider turning you main valve off altogether and hiring a plumber to drain your system.  That way, if your furnace quits working, there will be no water in your pipes to freeze.
  • Review our Cold Weather Tips bill insert for more ideas.