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Freezing Weather

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First and Foremost:

  • Know the location of the shut-off valve in your building. If you do not have one, have one installed as soon as possible.

Preparing Outside Your Home:

  • Remove and store hoses.
  • Wrap outside faucets.
  • Wrap pipes in crawl spaces, under porches, garages and any pipes which have frozen in the past.
  • To wrap pipes, use dry newspapers, plastic bags (secured with string or wire), or commercially manufactured coverings sold at hardware and plumbing stores.
  • Use electric heat tape to wrap pipes that have frozen before despite using other precautionary measures.
  • Drain irrigation or water systems.
  • If snow or ice is forecast, some customers may want to place a visible stick or other type of marker by their water meter.

Preparing Inside Your Home:

  • Open cabinet doors under sinks to give pipes next to outside walls exposure to warm air.
  • Find the faucet farthest from the main water line and allow it to drip cold water at a very slow rate in order to keep water moving through the pipes.

Preparing Vacant or Unheated Buildings:

  • Turn off the hot water heater and the main shut-off valve in the building.
  • Drain pipes by opening all indoor and outdoor faucets and then closing them.
  • Shut off the valve to each toilet and flush once to drain the tank (not necessarily the bowl).

Thawing Frozen Pipes:

  • Thaw as soon as possible.
  • Do not use an open flame or hair dryer.
  • Wrap the pipe with rags and pour hot water over the rags.
  • Call a plumber or capable handyman to thaw pipes or to replace broken pipes.