Winter is here!
Winter is here and so is the risk of frozen pipes. As soon as thermometers drop into the freezing zone, the following tips will help you avoid unpleasant surprises that may come from broken water pipes on your property. Winters can be harsh on household plumbing so don’t forget to protect the water meter and pipes from freezing temperatures. Those located on outside walls, in basements or in crawl spaces are particularly vulnerable to the cold. They can easily freeze and break during cold spells and lead to costly repairs. Please review the list of helpful tips to avoid costly freeze issues.
- Disconnect and drain the garden hose connection. This will help prevent outside faucets and pipes from freezing, leaking or breaking.
- Close outside vents, crawl spaces and doors so cold air doesn’t seep inside.
- Repair broken windows and seal cracks in the walls.
- Insulate, Insulate, Insulate
- Wrap water lines and meters in commercial insulation.
- Wrap pipes subject to cold or freezing in heat tape available from hardware stores. It must be kept plugged in all winter.
- Locate the shut-off valves.
- Place a tag on the main shut-off valve. Make sure everyone in the house knows where the main shut off for the home is located and how to operate it in an emergency.
- Check the heat. If you’re going away, keep a minimum amount of heat on in the house (PSE recommends 62 degrees). This will help protect the pipes in case the temperature drops.
- Do not turn the heat off.
- If a water pipe has frozen and burst, turn off the water at the main shut-off valve in the house.
- Open a nearby faucet slightly so the pipe can drain as it thaws
- Thaw pipes and meters by applying hot air from a hair dryer, electric heater or by using a heating pad.
- Do not use electrical appliances in areas of standing water because you could be electrocuted
- Never use hot water or a blowtorch on a frozen pipe or water meter.
- Frozen underground pipes running into the house may require the application of electric current or other thawing devices. A licensed plumber must address this problem.
- If frozen underground lines outside the house are an annual problem, consider lowering them in the spring to a point below the frost line.
If you are a resident of The Rants Group and find frozen pipes, do not attempt to thaw them on your own; please contact the office immediately.
Submitted by Darrell McQuiston