Preparing Your Pipes for Winter Weather

Being prepared and informed may help you to avoid the messy and often expensive issue of frozen pipes. All types of pipes, when frozen, will build water pressure and can crack. A crack as small as one-eighth of an inch can unleash more than 250 gallons of water a day and cause flooding, high water bills, and serious property damage. Taking the following inexpensive precautions can help protect your home.
Cold Weather Precautions
• Winterize your sprinkler system. You probably haven’t thought about your sprinkler system since the summer ended, but it’s very important to winterize it to ensure there’s no standing water left to freeze. Please call your lawn care professional for this service.
• Use pipe wraps, such as foam insulation, to protect pipes in unheated areas or anywhere they are exposed to freezing temperatures, especially attics, garages and crawl spaces.  Insulated pipe wraps are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased at most local home improvement or hardware stores.
• Set your furnace no lower than 55 degrees to prevent pipes from freezing.
• Never let faucets drip outside. Inspect outside faucets. If dripping or leaking, make the necessary repairs or call a plumber before a freeze. Cold weather will freeze a small drip, fill the faucet, and freeze the pipe potentially causing it to burst.
If Your Pipes Freeze or Burst
• Don’t risk it. If nothing comes out when you turn on your faucet, call a plumber.
• If you think any of your pipes have frozen and burst, turnoff the water at the main shut-off valve in the house. Your shut-off valve is located where the service line enters your home, usually in a garage or closet.

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