Cold Weather Tips

Frozen water pipes not only interrupt your water service, they can cause major damage to your home and belongings. As winter approaches and your thoughts turn to hanging storm windows and winterizing your car, don't forget those water pipes.

Eliminate Drafts

  • Close off crawl spaces, vents, and doors, especially under mobile homes. Repair broken or cracked windows. Check insulation and caulking around doors and windows.
Insulate Pipes
  • Wrap pipes in unheated parts of your home and business. Again, mobile homes are more susceptible. Pipes close to exterior walls or in unheated basements can be wrapped with pieces of insulation.
  • Don't overlook pipes near windows.
  • For particularly difficult pipes, consult a professional for advise on how to select and apply heat tape. Improper use can cause fires.
Locate Shut Off Valve
  • If the pipes freeze and burst, knowing where the shut off valve is located saves valuable time.
Sprinkler Systems
  • Shut off and drain outside automatic or manual lawn sprinkling systems.
Protect Your Water Meter
  • Do not open your meter pit, make sure the lid is on tight and is not broken. When sub zero temperatures hit, allowing cold air into the pit will freeze the meter.
Hose Bibs
  • Drain your outside hose bibs and turn off the water supply to these areas. Detach hoses so automatic drain hydrants will in fact drain.
  • Drain water from these piping systems if possible.
Winterize Unheated or Unused Buildings
  • Significant property damage can occur before a burst water pipe is discovered in an unused building.
Protect Against Frozen Pipes
  • During sub zero weather open the door below your sink to allow warm air to reach your pipes.
  • Place a lighted bulb in small unheated areas where water pipes are located.
  • If you have had pipes freeze in the past, keep a thin stream of water running from the faucet highest in the house (the width of pencil lead). This will increase your water bill, but will help prevent your pipes from freezing.
  • You could place a bucket below the water and collect the water for another use (flushing toilets?).
Additional Things to Remember
  • If you own an apartment or house which is not occupied in cold weather, be sure to check them also.
  • Keep attached garage doors closed.
  • Keep your thermostat above 65 degrees when leaving your home or business for several days.