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Freeze Prevention, and Other Winter Tips

When the temperatures dip below 32 degrees, the water in your homes pipes are at risk of freezing. The tips below will help you prepare and thaw your pipes if they have frozen.

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Preventing Frozen Pipes, Before the Weather Turns Cold
  • At the end of summer, drain swimming pool supply lines and lawn and landscape sprinkler systems. (Do not put automotive antifreeze in drained lines; it is toxic to animals and plants).
  • Remove, drain, and store outdoor hoses. If hose bibs have shut-off valves, close them and drain faucets. If no shut-off is available—or if frost-free faucets have not been installed—cover faucets with insulation or Styrofoam covers.
  • Install thermostatically-controlled heat lamps in pump houses.
  • Survey property for other water supply lines that may be unprotected: unheated basements, attics, crawlspaces, and garages; under cabinets on exterior walls; at the water meter; at the point where main supply lines cross the foundation into the house. Insulate both hot and cold water lines in these areas (hot water lines freeze as readily as cold water lines if water is not flowing through them).
  • Protect exposed pipes by wrapping with foam pipe sleeves (taping at all junctions), covering with fiberglass insulation, or installing UL-listed heat tape or heat cable. Even several layers of newspaper will do in a pinch when temperatures aren’t expected to remain cold for prolonged periods.