How to Avoid Frozen Pipes During Frigid Winter Months

One of the most important things to know about your home is where your main water shut off valve is located. Many homes have a valve inside that is easily accessible, while others the main water shut off is located outside at the utility tap, and can also be found under a plastic cover in the yard. There is a special tool you can purchase at your local hardware store that is made specifically to shut off the water valve at the source. It only costs roughly $20 and is priceless if you need to hurry up and shut it off. Otherwise, you may find yourself running back and forth to find a tool that will work properly. The typical water pressure to a home is anywhere between 20-75 psi…this could mean a lot of water running into your home at a high rate when a frozen pipe thaws out and bursts open. 

Shut Off Valve

Here are some tips we practice prior to the temperatures dropping to try and avoid a water leak from happening:

  • Keep the thermostat in your home at the same temperature day and night to maintain a comfortable temperature. This will help keep your unit from getting behind and having to work harder and longer to heat up your home. If you are going out of town during the winter months professionals recommend leaving the thermostat on at least 55 degrees during the winter months. 
  • Open the doors to the kitchen, bathrooms and any cabinet doors under sinks to allow the warm air to circulate around any exposed pipes.
  • Disconnect all hoses attached to your spigots outside and cover the spigots to keep them from freezing.  Your local hardware stores sell spigot covers that are inexpensive, ranging anywhere from $2-$5 each. Well worth the money! 
  • Keep garage doors closed, not only to help maintain the heat inside the home, but to keep any exposed supply lines located in the garage at a reasonable temperature. 
  • Using the faucet furthest from the main water supply line into your home, allow a small drip or stream of water to flow. Running water, even at a trickle, can help prevent pipes from freezing. 
  • Always have several gallons of water available in your home for drinking in the event of a freeze or any other emergency.
Spigot Cover

Stay warm and prepared!

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