Tips for Protecting Your Water Pipes From Cold Temperatures
Frozen water pipes can damage your home and leave you with costly repair bills. Protecting your pipes is easy, following these precautions:
Inside Your Home:
- Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas.
- Seal off access doors, air vents and cracks. Repair broken basement windows. Cold winter winds whistling through overlooked openings can quickly freeze exposed water pipes. Avoid plugging air vents that your furnace or water heater needs for safe operation.Keep the garage door closed if there are water pipes in the garage.
- Know the location of your master water shutoff valve. If a pipe bursts, this valve turns off water coming into the house and will save your home from damage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of reach of children.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55ºF.
Outside Your Home:
- Shut off and drain your irrigation system.
- Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses. Disconnecting hoses from their spigots allows water to drain from the pipe.
- If you have a swimming pool, drain water from pool and supply lines following the manufacturer's or installer's directions.
- Close foundation or exterior vents around the house during the cold months. This will help keep cold air out of crawl spaces.