Pipes do freeze, and they do burst. And while our autumn weather has been great, I am sure frigid weather is eventually on its way.
Check out this photo- what a mess a burst frozen water pipe caused in this garage!
Now take a look at this video, and you will see that water, the world’s most wonderful element, actually expands when frozen!
Every winter, many homeowners face the expense and inconvenience of frozen water pipes. But, you can cross that off your list of winter worries by taking these few simple precautions.
- Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses. Detaching the hose allows water to drain from the pipe. Other-wise, a single hard, overnight freeze can burst either the faucet or the pipe to which it’s connected.
- Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas. If you have pipelines in an unheated garage or cold crawl space beneath the house, wrap the water pipes before temperatures plummet. Hardware or building supply stores have good pipe wrapping and materials available.
- Consider installing “heat tape,” “heat cable,” or similar materials on exposed water pipes. These are relatively easy to install, and hardware or building supply stores have many brands to fit almost any need. Be sure that you use only UL-listed products and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
- Seal off access doors, air vents and cracks. Repair broken basement windows. Winter winds whistling through overlooked openings can quickly freeze exposed water pipes. However, don’t plug air vents your fur-nace or water heater needs for good combustion.
- Find the master shutoff. It’s most likely where the water line comes into your house from the street. If it’s not there, it may be near the water heater or the washing machine. If a pipe bursts anywhere in the house — kitchen, bath, basement, or crawl space — this valve turns it off. So, find it now and paint it a bright color or hang a tag on it. Be sure everyone in the house knows where it is and what it does.
- Water meter responsibility. The customer is responsible for protecting the water meter and lines which are inside the home or business. In some cases, a pencil-thin stream of water flowing from a faucet during the worst of a cold spell may help keep the meter from freezing. The District is responsible for a meter that is in an outside meter pit. Do not open a meter pit outside, this allows more cold air in the pit and increases the chances the meter will freeze.