Temperatures are cooling and winter is coming, which means it’s time to think about protecting pipes from freezing. A few minutes now can save you the hassle and expense of dealing with broken pipes later.
Follow these tips to tuck your home in for the winter:
- Caulk around pipes where they enter the house.
- Turn off the water to swamp coolers and drain the line.
- Insulate exposed irrigation system lines.
- If you have a shut-off valve for outside lines, turn it off and drain for
- the winter.
- Wrap outside faucets with insulation if they aren’t drained.
- Insulate pipes in unheated areas in crawl spaces and the attic. Use insulating tape or molded pipe sleeves. Fire sprinkler lines are especially vulnerable during a freeze.
- Leave your furnace on a low setting while you’re gone or shut off the water at the customer service valve and leave a faucet on to allow for expansion of water in the lines. If you do turn the water off to the entire property while you are gone, be sure to turn off the power or gas to your water heater to avoid damage to the heating element.
IF YOUR PIPES FREEZE
Never use an open flame or electrical device to thaw lines. Instead, microwave a towel and wrap the pipe or let the sun thaw it. Watch the lines for leaks as they thaw.
IF YOUR PIPES BREAK
Shut-off your water at the meter using the customer service valve (the valve closest to the house). If you cannot shut-off your water, call HDWD’s 24-hour emergency number at 760.365.8333.