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Winterizing Your Water Pipes

When water freezes, it expands. Plan ahead to prevent the cost and mess of frozen pipes or a broken water line during winter months. Here are some things you can do to prepare for winter!

Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses. Detaching the hose allows water to drain from the pipe. A single hard, overnight freeze can burst either the faucet or the pipe it’s connected to.

When the weather is frigid:

  • Allow heat to circulate around meters and pipes located near outside walls, uninsulated cabinets or other enclosed areas.
  • Fill cracks in doors, windows and walls near water meters and pipes.

If the power or furnace goes out, or where previous freeze-ups have been a problem:

  • Allow a slow stream of water to run continuously from the faucet to help keep a pipe from freezing.

If water lines/pipes are frozen:

  • Contact a plumber to thaw the pipes.
  • Thaw the pipes themselves by:
    • Use an electric heater where the water service comes into the house.
    • Use a blow dryer, slowly running it along the pipe where the services comes in to the house.
    • Use electrical heat tap to wrap around the problem areas.

If you are planning to be away from home for an extended period:

  • Keep the furnace on, but at a lower setting.
  • Have someone briefly run all faucets daily to reduce the risk of frozen pipes.
  • Turn off your water at the Stop Box. By doing so, it will reduce the likelihood of further damage from running water if system is not drained and freezing occurs.
  • Drain all pipes, toilets and water lines to be completely safe.

Have a safe and happy winter by preparing in advance!