Protect Your Pipes
Follow these suggestions to protect your pipes during freezing weather:
Before Onset of Freezing Weather
- Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Cover outdoor faucets with a Styrofoam cap or faucet sock.
- Check water supply lines in unheated areas such as a crawl space, attic or garage. Water pipes in these areas should be insulated. If you find exposed water pipes, consider installing a foam pipe sleeve for insulation.
- Turn off automatic irrigation systems to prevent freezing runoff on our sidewalks and streets.
- Locate your water shut-off valve and know how to turn it off. Here’s a video shows that you how: https://youtu.be/lNQ7Gk95yTM
During Freezing Weather
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
- Drip one or more cold water faucets slowly if you feel your pipes may freeze. The faucet you choose should be the one that is the greatest distance from your main shutoff valve. It does not need to be a running trickle. If you do drip your faucet, capture the water for future use.
- If you plan to be away during a time when freezing temperatures are possible, consider turning off your water at the meter and set your thermostat to 65 degrees or higher.
- Likely places for frozen pipes are exterior walls, or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
- Keep the faucet open. As the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area.
- If the frozen pipe is in an area that's accessible, apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
- Apply heat until full water pressure is restored.
- If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or the pipe has burst, you should call a licensed plumber.
Turning off Water to Your Home
If a pipe has burst, here are steps to cut off the water at the meter:
- You will need a wrench, pliers or utility shut off tool.
- Locate your meter box. This is normally close to the street in the front of your property, but could be in the rear of your property.
- Open the box by removing the lid. Some boxes have more than one meter. Your meter will be the one located closest to your property.
- Locate the valve on the meter within the box. You may need to remove snow or water from the box.
- Place your tool or pliers on the valve. Turn the valve clockwise 90 degrees or until the valve can no longer be turned.
Here is a video on how to turn off the water at the meter: https://youtu.be/lNQ7Gk95yTM