Every winter, many homeowners face the expense and inconvenience of frozen water pipes. However, you can cross that issue off your list of winter worries by taking a few precautions.
Allow Steady Water Flow
In some places, you're advised to leave a steady drip or pencil-lead thin stream of water flowing from a bathroom faucet during the worst of a cold spell.
Disconnect & Drain Outdoor Hoses
Detaching the hose allows water to drain from the pipe. Otherwise, one hard, overnight freeze can burst either the faucet or the connecting pipe.
Find the Master Shutoff
It may be near the water heater or the washing machine. More likely it's where the water line comes into your house from the street. If a pipe bursts anywhere in the house, this valve turns it off. 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 and what it does.
Insulate Pipes or Faucets in Unheated Areas
If you have pipelines in an unheated garage or a crawl space under the house, wrap the water pipes before temperatures plummet. Hardware or building supply stores will have good pipe-wrapping materials available.
Seal off Access Doors, Air Vents & Cracks
Repair broken basement windows. Winter winds whistling through overlooked openings can quickly freeze exposed water pipes. But don't plug the air vents your furnace or water heater needs for good combustion.