Tips to prevent them, and what to do if they still freeze

  • Maintain heat to at least 55 degrees even when you are out of town.
  • If you are going to be out of town, maintain heat to at least 55 degrees and also shut off the water and drain your pipes.
  • Remove outdoor hoses. Shut off the interior valve that runs to the outdoor hoses and turn on the outside hose bibs to drain the water.
  • Drain any water lines not regularly used such as swimming pool lines.
  • Caulk or insulate cracked seals around pipes.
  • Insulate pipes located in a crawl space or attic.
  • Use pipe sleeves, heat tape or heat cables on exposed water pipes.
  • In extreme cold, if you are concerned about interior pipes freezing, open cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate. You can also let the faucet drip during extreme cold.
  • Pipes that are at the most risk of freezing are those close to exterior walls, near swimming pools and sprinkler supply lines, in unheated places such as crawl spaces, attics and garages.

If you experience frozen pipes:

  • Locate the section that is frozen and try to thaw it using a hand-held hair dryer. NEVER use a torch or open flame of any kind.
  • Call a professional plumber.

If the pipe has already burst:

  • Turn water off at the main shut-off valve in the house.
  • Leave water faucets turned on.
  • Do not use any electrical appliances in standing water.
  • Contact a professional plumber.

Winterization Checklist

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