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In the next few days we will be experiencing cold winter temperatures, we offer these helpful hints on how to reduce the risk of frozen water pipes.

  • Disconnect and drain all outdoor hoses

  • Shut off and drain all outdoor faucets

  • Insulate all exposed outside water pipes with specially designed foam pipe covers available at building supply or home improvement stores

  • Seal air leaks throughout your home and garage

  • Let a cold-water faucet run a minimal amount of water on nights when the temperature is below freezing to prevent service line freeze-up

  • Open kitchen, bathroom and laundry cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing

  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage

  • Wrap pipes with insulation. Insulating pipes is helpful when basement temperatures are reduced because of lower thermostat settings, an energy efficient furnace or use of a wood stove or other sources of heat. Check the insulation regularly to make sure it stays dry. Wet insulation can freeze and damage the pipes it was intended to protect.

  • Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold-water pipes in these areas should be insulated.

  • Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a “pipe sleeve” or installing UL-listed “heat tape,” “heat cable,” or similar materials on exposed water pipes.

  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.

  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.

  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

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