Prepare for Freezing Temperatures

How to Prevent Pipes from Freezing

Before cold weather sets in, here are a few steps to take to keep pipes from freezing:

  • Drain your pipes. Shut off all water valves leading to your garden hose, sprinkler, and pool. Open the spigots to let any remaining water drip out.
  • Drain pool pump or irrigation pump.
  • Insulate interior exposed piping. Insulation sleeves or wrapping should be put on any pipes in unheated or uninsulated areas like an attic, basement, or crawl space.
  • Insulate exterior exposed piping. Insulation sleeves or wrapping should be put on any above ground exposed piping including backflow preventers, yard hydrants, and irrigation piping.
  • Seal or caulk any cracks that might let in cold air such as dryer vents.
  • Keep garage doors closed.
  • Open cabinet doors. Open any bathroom or kitchen cabinet doors with plumbing on exterior walls to improve airflow.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature during the day and night. When traveling, leave the heat on to no lower than 55°F.
  • Let the faucet drip. Run water through the pipe at a trickle. NOTE: Dripping faucets are not eligible for leak adjustments.
  • Shut the water off completely. Check the shut-off valve where the water pipes enter your home to prevent burst pipes when away from home.
  • Winterize travel trailers.

If you discover your pipes have frozen, here are a few tips for thawing. CAUTION: Never use extreme heat or open flames such as a heat gun or blow torch.

  • For exposed pipes:
    ✓ Wrap the pipe in a heating pad and turn the temperature to high.
    ✓ Aim a hair dryer on high at the pipe.
    ✓ Encircle the pipe in heated, dampened towels. Change frequently.
    ✓ Position a space heater to circulate warm air around a section of pipe.
  • For enclosed pipes:
    ✓  Turn up the heat in your home.
    ✓  If needed, cut out a section of the wall to access the pipe. Then use any method above for exposed pipes.

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