When a water pipe freezes and breaks, not only can it cost you for a plumber, you may have to go without water for a while until the leak is repaired. If no one is home when the pipe thaws, the flooding and property damage in your home could lead to repair costs and inconvenience. To avoid such problems, The City of Bremerton reminds water customers to prepare for winter weather and freezing temperatures. If you haven't already, follow these tips to ensure that you're well-prepared:
- Locate your master water supply valve and tag it so that you can find it quickly in case of emergency. Show family members where it is located so that everyone will be able to find it when they need to.
- Wrap exposed pipes - this doesn't waste water as opposed to leaving faucets running, and leaving faucets running is not a guarantee that pipes won't freeze.
- Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas in the home also, not just outside. Examples are cold crawl spaces under the house, or unheated garages. Hardware stores will have materials available.
- Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses, allowing water to drain from the pipe. Otherwise, one good overnight freeze can burst a faucet or the pipe it is connected to. Shut off and drain in-ground sprinkler systems.
- Remember to wrap or cover outdoor faucets.
- Seal off air vents, cracks, and access doors. Repair broken basement windows. Winter wind and cold coming in through openings can quickly freeze exposed pipes. Do NOT plug air vents your furnace or water heater need for good combustion!
- Protect indoor sink pipes that are against exterior walls by opening under-sink cabinet doors.
- During severe cold temperatures, allow one indoor faucet to slowly drip water. Select the faucet that is farthest from your front door.
- If a water pipe breaks, immediately close the main shut-off valve to stop excessive flooding.