Straight from the Tap

Protect Your Home This Winter from Costly Repairs

10/06/2015

With winter just around the corner, take these simple steps to keep your water pipes and meter from freezing when the temperatures drop.

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

Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas.
If you have pipes in an unheated garage or a cold crawl space, wrap the water pipes before temperatures decline. Hardware or building supply stores will have wrapping materials available.

Seal off access doors, air vents and cracks.
Winter winds whistling through overlooked openings can quickly freeze exposed water pipes. Do not plug air vents that your furnace or water heater need for good combustion.

Leave a pencil-lead-thin stream of water flowing during really cold weather.
During the worst of a cold spell, allow a small flow of water to run from the faucet that is furthest from your meter. Water flowing throughout the pipes in your home continuously can help prevent faucets or water pipes from freezing.

If a water pipe or meter freezes...

Broken and frozen water pipes and meters that occur on the customer’s property due to extreme temperatures are the customer’s responsibility. This includes the water line that runs from the curb stop to the water meter, irrigation systems, and all indoor plumbing. It is important to note that there is a substantial cost associated with replacing a damaged or burst meter.

During the winter season, low or no water pressure may indicate a frozen pipe.  If you do have a frozen water pipe or meter, turn off your water using your main shut-off valve to limit further damage. Safely apply heat in the general area by increasing the room temperature where the pipes are exposed or place a heating pad/blanket around the pipe. Contact a plumber or a private contractor if repairs or further assistance thawing pipes is required.

Properties that are uninhabited are especially vulnerable to frozen pipes and meters and must be either properly winterized or inspected often during the cold weather. For additional information and tips, visit our Protect Your Home section under Customer Service on our website or click here to download a copy of our winter preparation tips.

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