Straight from the Tap

Tips to Protect Your Home this Winter


Winter weather is on its way and as temperatures drop your water pipes and meter are susceptible to freezing. Frozen pipes can cause expensive, frustrating and unnecessary damage. Fortunately, it’s easier than you might think to protect your home and control your utility costs.

Follow these simple steps now to help you prevent your water pipes and meters from freezing this winter:

Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses and spigots.

This allows water to drain from the pipe instead of leaving it to freeze. It only takes a single, hard, overnight freeze to burst either the spigot or the pipe connecting it.

Insulate water 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 but do seal places where cold air gets in.

Find your main shut-off valve and label it.

Knowing how to access and turn off your water quickly can help you limit damage and control your utility costs should a pipe freeze or burst. You can usually find the valve in your basement or in a small pit at the front of your property.

Track your usage on our MyClevelandWater Portal.

Monitoring your water usage on a regular basis through our MyClevelandWater Portal will help you know how much water you use on average and if something is out of the ordinary – such as a leak from a frozen pipe.

Leave a pencil-lead-thin stream of water flowing.

A small flow of water running from a bathroom or kitchen faucet during the worst of the cold spell can help prevent faucets or water service lines from freezing. The water should be left running through the pipe susceptible to freezing.  You can also leave your cabinet doors open to allow the heat of the house to help keep your pipes from freezing.

Turn off the water if you are away for a long period of time.

When you are away from home for several days, turn the water off and drain the outside faucets or leave the thermostat set above 55 degrees to ensure your home stays warm and the pipes do not freeze.

Following these easy steps before cold weather sets in can help save you time, money and hassle this winter.