As temperatures drop this winter, you can avoid the expense and trouble of frozen water lines at your home or business by taking these simple precautions:

  • If you have water pipes in an unheated garage or a crawl space under the house, wrap them with insulation. Hardware and home improvement stores carry appropriate pipe-wrapping tape.

  • Close the foundation or exterior vents around your house to keep freezing air out of crawl spaces. In addition, seal off access doors, air vents and cracks. Cold winds can quickly freeze exposed pipes. Remember to avoid plugging air vents that your furnace or water heater needs for circulation and safe operation.

  • Adjust your home thermostat. During hard freezes or when you’re away from your home for an extended period, set your thermostat to a temperature that will prevent your pipes from freezing—no lower than 55˚F.

  • Keep garage doors closed if water lines are exposed.

  • Know the location of your master water shutoff valve. In many homes, it’s located where the water line enters your house from the street. If a pipe bursts anywhere in your house, this valve can be used to turn off all water and can save your home from water damage. Find it now and paint it a bright color or hang a tag on it. Be sure everyone in the family knows where it is. See our video about how to operate your master shutoff valve at

The main point of winterization is to be prepared for the cold weather. No one wants the unwelcome surprise of broken pipes. For more tips and a how-to video on winterizing your home, please visit TMWA’s winterization webpage at:

Published by TMWA. 

Posted by Jeff Sallan on
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