Winterizing pipes can save money and water
Dec 22, 2016 by Chris Wood, Ph.D.
Using wraps (pictured) to insulate pipes can help prevent them from freezing and bursting during the winter. Such water leaks can cost a lot of money for utility customers.
With warm temperatures and drought conditions extending well into the fall and early winter this year, it may be hard for HCWA customers to think about winterization tips. But now is the time for residents to weatherize their homes before it’s too late, in anticipation of cold weather and freezing temperatures that are coming in the very near future. By winterizing their homes, customers can prevent potential water leaks or pipe bursts this winter.
Consider the following winterization tips to protect your water lines, exposed pipes, valves, and irrigation systems from freezing:
- Insulate pipes, either with wraps or tapes, making sure to locate all pipes that pass through unheated spaces or areas exposed to the outdoors.
- Consider adding or supplementing insulation to water heaters.
- Drain irrigation systems, since the tips of sprinkler heads and portions of sprinkler systems often continue to hold water, even when inactive.
- Disconnect garden hoses from all outdoor water faucets, allowing water to drain completely, and store them in a place with consistent (warmer) temperatures.
- If a faucet is not frost free, find the shut-off valve where the pipe feeds the faucet outside of the home or building and turn it off, prior to opening the outside faucet until it drains completely.
- Winterize air conditioning units as well, by draining all air conditioner pipes and hoses.
- Remove window air conditioning units and insulate those areas accordingly.
- Clean gutters, so winter rains and melting snow can drain.
- When leaving the home or office for an extended period of time, turn the temperature down to 55 degrees – rather than turning the heat completely off – to prevent problems from freezing temperatures.
- Should a pipe burst due to freezing or under any other circumstances, always know how to shut off the main water line servicing the home or office building.
For more information on winterization or related consumer tips, contact the HCWA at 770-957-6659.