Winter Water Tips

Prepare for Winter Weather

Winter weather can mean trouble for your home's water pipes. When water in your pipes freezes, it expands, putting a lot of pressure on the pipe wall. This can cause your pipes to burst, leaving you without water and a potentially hefty repair bill. Luckily, you can take steps to protect your plumbing from the winter chill, before and even after a freeze event.

1. Before Cold Weather Sets In - most of what you can do to protect your plumbing from winter weather is preventative:

  • Shut off and drain any outdoor hoses, sprinklers, and irrigation systems before temperatures plummet.
  • Wrap your pipes in insulation or pipe sleeves
  • Find your main water valve and ensure you can turn it off. Your water main might be in your basement or under a metal cover in your yard near the street.
  • Close off crawl spaces, seal any holes, and ensure all the pipes in your home are protected from outside air.

2. When Freezing Temps Arrive - protect your pipes by keeping them warm and keeping water moving through them:

  • Open cabinet and vanity doors to ensure your pipes are the same temperature as the interior of the house
  • Set your home's thermostat at 55 degrees F or higher
  • Let a small trickle run from your faucet - moving water can't freeze in one place.

3. If Your Pipes Freeze - if water freezes in your pipes there might still be something you can do to protect them:

  • Immediately shut off the main water valve to your home.
  • Slowly thaw pipes with a blow dryer or a small space heater. Never warm pipes with an open flame. 
  • After the water in the pipe is thawed, slowly turn the water back on and carefully inspect your pipes and joints for leaks.

ACCPUD prevent frozen pipes (002)