As temperatures across Virginia start dropping over the coming weeks, now is the time to take steps to prevent unnecessary, expensive damage from freezing. Stafford County’s Department of Public Works has put together some helpful tips to protect your pipes and water supply and help control your utility costs.
How to Prevent Frozen Water Pipes:
- Locate and label your water main shut-off valve and ensure that everyone in your household knows where it is located. Knowing how to access and turn off your water quickly can limit damage should a pipe freeze or burst. Knowing this is an important step and seems simple until you need to find the pipe in an emergency.
- Insulate your pipes and outside faucets (hose spigots) in unheated areas. If you have pipes in an unheated garage or crawl space, wrap the water pipes with insulation.
- Disconnect, drain and store garden hoses. A frozen garden hose connected to an interior pipe can increase pressure throughout the plumbing system, causing damage. It only takes one overnight freeze to burst the spigot or connecting pipe.
- 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 from your cabinets).
- Drip cold water from the farthest faucet from your main valve. Moving water keeps pipes from freezing.
- 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 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 and registered 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.