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Frozen Waterlines: What to Do and What Not to Do

January 23, 2018

 

Having customers continuously run water to thaw frozen waterlines and septic lines is not the answer.

 

With the extreme cold weather over the last few weeks, freezing waterlines have been reported across the U.S.

 

Water pipes that freeze most frequently are:

 

  • Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines and water sprinkler lines.

  • Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages or kitchen cabinets. 

  • Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.

 

Here's some information that can be shared with customers to help them avoid frozen pipe issues.

 

How To Prevent Frozen Water Pipes

The key issue here is exposing water pipes to warmer air. This can be done with simple techniques such as keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage and opening kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Also be sure to keep the thermostat set to the same temperature at night as during the day, and if you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in the home, set to a temperature no lower than 55 degrees F.

 

How To Protect Water Pipes

Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:

 

  • Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines, following manufacturer or installer's directions.

  • Remove, drain and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.

  • Make sure vents are closed to your crawl space and the crawl space door itself is closed.

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