As the cold weather approaches, it’s important to take steps to protect your pipes from freezing. Frozen pipes can leave you without water. They can also burst and cause damage to your home and property.
Here are some helpful tips to prevent your pipes from freezing:
- Make sure you know where the main water shut-off valve is in your home and how to turn it on and off.
- Insulate pipes with foam pipe covers. Outside pipes and those located near outside walls and crawl spaces are at the greatest risk of freezing.
- Seal all air leaks in your home and garage to prevent cold air from getting in. Double-check around doors, windows, electrical wiring and pipes.
Drain the outdoor water supply
- Outdoor faucets freeze first. Unscrew outdoor hoses, let the taps drain, and turn off the outdoor water supply.
Know a plumber
- Have the contact information of a reliable plumber readily available. If your pipes are continually freezing, there may be an underlying plumbing problem that requires professional assistance.
When the weather drops significantly below 0ºC, ensure that areas containing indoor pipes (especially those near the water meter) are maintained at 8ºC or higher. Consider opening cabinet doors to let warm air circulate around the pipes. It’s also a good idea to keep your garage door closed during extremely cold weather.
For extra peace of mind during a cold snap, you can also turn on your tap to run a pencil-thin stream of water. This will ensure some movement of water in the pipes. Remember, though, you will incur fees for water use if you opt to take this step.