In the fall, as temperatures drop, it is important to be prepared for the effect of cold weather on your water pipes. Preparation means knowing how to prevent pipes from freezing as well as knowing what to do if pipes do freeze or burst in your home.
As the water in your pipe freezes, it expands and puts pressure on the pipes causing them to burst. The pipes most at risk are those in unheated interior spaces such as basements, attics and garages.
Help protect your pipes from damage by following these recommendations.
- Add pipe insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Pipe insulation can cost as little as 50 cents per linear foot at your local hardware store.
- Keep garage doors closed, especially if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Disconnect, drain and store garden hoses. A frozen garden hose that is connected to an interior pipe can increase pressure throughout the whole plumbing system causing damage.
- During freezing temperatures, open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate the plumbing, especially if your sinks are on an exterior wall (if you have small children or pets, be sure to remove any harmful cleaners and household chemicals).
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature during the day and night. If you plan to be away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
In the event of a burst pipe, shut off your main water valve and call a licensed plumber immediately. Stafford County Utilities is responsible for water mains and all connections up to your water meter, not pipes located on your property.
For more information on how to protect your pipes, visit the link below.