Winterization Tips from Lee's Summit Water Utilities
January 6, 2014Prepping your pipes for winter
Before the temperatures drop below freezing, it is important to
prepare your pipes using these simple tips that could potentially save
you thousands of dollars in water damage repairs.
and exercise your master water shut-off valve: The valve is usually
located where the water line enters your house Ė sometimes near the
water heater or washing machine. Once the valve is located, make sure
everyone in the household knows where it is and exercise it regularly so
that it can easily be shut off in case of an emergency.
and drain outdoor hoses: Before freezing temperatures strike, itís
important to disconnect and drain your outdoor hoses. This allows the
water to drain from the pipe so an overnight freeze doesnít burst the
faucet or the pipe itís connected to.
pipes or faucets in unheated areas: If youíve got water pipes in
unheated areas like the garage or a crawl space, itís best to wrap them
in insulation before temperatures drop. Pipe wrapping materials and supply can be found at hardware stores.
off access doors, air vents and cracks: When cold air seeps through
overlooked openings, exposed water pipes may freeze. But remember; do
NOT plug air vents by your furnace or water heater.
Preventing frozen pipes when temperatures dip below freezing
1. Leave cabinet doors open for warm air circulation.
2. Let water trickle to keep it flowing.
3. Keep the garage door closed.
What if itís too late?
Even if you take all the proper precautions, your pipes may still
freeze during an extended cold spell. If that occurs, the best solution
is to call a plumber.
∑ Do not try to thaw the pipe with an open flame.
∑ Do not heat only one spot on the pipe, as this can cause it to burst.
If you chose to try to thaw the pipe yourself, your best bet is a
heat tape especially made to thaw water pipes. This tape is available at
many hardware stores. Be careful when heating the pipe, as it may
already be broken and just not leaking because the water inside is
frozen. So be ready with the master shut-off valve in case water comes