Winter and Cold Weather Preparedness
It's that time of year again; time to remind everyone about how to prep your home for winter months.
Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses.
Detaching the hose allows water to drain so an overnight freeze doesn't burst the faucet it’s connected to.
Blowout and drain the irrigation system.
Before blowing out the irrigation system downstream, not through the pressure vacuum breaker(PVB), industry recommends turning off the water supply to the system, open all drain valves on the system and closing the outlet shut off valve of the PVB. Introduce an adequate volume of air to clear the system of water. When draining the PVB, open inlet and outlet valves and all test cocks on the pressure vacuum breaker then leaving the inlet and outlet valves on the PVB at a 45° position to allow for full drainage.
Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas.
It's best to wrap water pipes in unheated areas (such as the garage or crawl space) before temperatures plummet.
Consider installing "heat tape".
Install "heat tape" or similar materials on all exposed water pipes. Be sure that you use only UL-listed products and follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.
Seal off access doors, air vents, and cracks.
Winter winds whistling through overlooked openings can quickly freeze exposed water pipes. DO NOT plug air vents used by your furnace or water heater.
Find the master shutoff valve.
Usually located where the water line enters your house, the master shutoff valve turns off the water to the entire house. Make sure everyone in the household knows where it is.
What if it's too late?
During an extended cold spell, your pipes can freeze, even if you take all the proper precautions. If you think you know where the freeze occurred and want to try thawing it yourself, the easiest tool to use is a hair dryer with a low heat seating.
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DO NOT use an open flame. Using the hair dryer, wave the warm air back and forth along the pipe.
DO NOT heat only one spot on the pipe, as this can cause it to burst. If you don’t have a hair dryer, you can wrap the frozen section with rags or towels and pour hot water over them. It's messy, but it works.