Six Tips To Protect Water Pipes From Freezing

With nighttime temperatures forecasted to be below freezing for the foreseeable future, Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA) reminds you to protect your home from frozen pipes.

“We’ve received a lot of calls from customers requesting that their water be turned off because their pipes have burst,” said Marci Westlake, manager of customer service. “Please remember that the pipes around your home can freeze and burst if they are not winterized.”

Avoid the expense and trouble of frozen water pipes with these simple precautions to follow:

  1. If you have not already done so, shut off and drain your irrigation system. Disconnect and drain all outdoor hoses as well. A short video is available to guide you through the process at www.tmwa.com/howto.
  2. Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas. If you have water pipes in an unheated garage or crawl space under the house, wrap them. Hardware and home
    improvement stores offer appropriate pipe-wrapping tape.
  3. Close the foundation or exterior vents around your house during the cold months to help keep cold air out of crawl spaces.
  4. Seal off access doors, air vents, and cracks. Cold, winter winds whistling through overlooked openings can quickly freeze exposed water pipes. However,
    avoid plugging air vents that your furnace or water heater needs for safe ventilation. Keep garage doors closed if there are exposed water lines inside.
  5. During periods of hard freezes, or when you’re away from your home for an extended period, keep your home thermostat at a temperature that will
    help protect your pipes from freezing, no lower than 55ºF.
  6. Know the location of your master water shutoff valve. In many homes, it’s where the water line comes into your house from the street. If a pipe bursts
    anywhere in the house — kitchen, bath, basement or crawl space — this valve turns off all water and will save your home from water damage. So, find it now
    and paint it a bright color or hang a tag on it. Be sure everyone in the family knows where it is. See our video on how to shut off your master shutoff
    valve at www.tmwa.com/howto.
RELATED:
VIDEO: Our 2019 Snow Pack and Water Outlook

No one wants the unwelcome surprise of broken pipes. For more tips on winterizing your home, please visit www.tmwa.com/conservation/winterize.

Courtesy of Truckee Meadows Water Authority.

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