Prepare for Freezing Temperatures
How to Prevent Pipes from Freezing
Before cold weather sets in, here are a few steps to take to keep pipes from freezing:
- Drain your pipes. Shut off all water valves leading to your garden hose, sprinkler, and pool. Open the spigots to let any remaining water drip out.
- Drain pool pump or irrigation pump.
- Insulate interior exposed piping. Insulation sleeves or wrapping should be put on any pipes in unheated or uninsulated areas like an attic, basement, or crawl space.
- Insulate exterior exposed piping. Insulation sleeves or wrapping should be put on any above ground exposed piping including backflow preventers, yard hydrants, and irrigation piping.
- Seal or caulk any cracks that might let in cold air such as dryer vents.
- Keep garage doors closed.
- Open cabinet doors. Open any bathroom or kitchen cabinet doors with plumbing on exterior walls to improve airflow.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature during the day and night. When traveling, leave the heat on to no lower than 55°F.
- Let the faucet drip. Run water through the pipe at a trickle. NOTE: Dripping faucets are not eligible for leak adjustments.
- Shut the water off completely. Check the shut-off valve where the water pipes enter your home to prevent burst pipes when away from home.
- Winterize travel trailers.
If you discover your pipes have frozen, here are a few tips for thawing. CAUTION: Never use extreme heat or open flames such as a heat gun or blow torch.
- For exposed pipes:
✓ Wrap the pipe in a heating pad and turn the temperature to high.
✓ Aim a hair dryer on high at the pipe.
✓ Encircle the pipe in heated, dampened towels. Change frequently.
✓ Position a space heater to circulate warm air around a section of pipe.
- For enclosed pipes:
✓ Turn up the heat in your home.
✓ If needed, cut out a section of the wall to access the pipe. Then use any method above for exposed pipes.