Make sure your pipes are prepared for frigid temps

December 5, 2013

As temperatures plummet into the single digits tonight, Madison Water Utility is reminding customers to make sure pipes are protected. There are a few simple steps you can take right now to help keep your pipes from freezing:

  • Double-check outdoor spigots to make sure all hoses are disconnected and the spigots are turned off and drained.
  • Insulate pipes in unheated areas like crawl spaces, unheated garages, and attics.
  • Leave some heat on in unused areas of your home.
  • If you go out of town for a few days, keep your thermostat on at least 55 degrees and open any cabinets where sink plumbing is against an outside wall.
  • If you’re leaving town for the winter, have your home and pipes professionally winterized.

And it’s always a good idea to find the master shut off valve that turns the off water to your entire home – it’s usually in the basement – and make sure everyone in the family knows where it is in case a pipe does freeze and burst.

Burst water pipes can be a nightmare. Take a look at video below taken inside a vacant Madison home where pipes on the second floor burst last winter. The mess wasn’t found until spring, when a neighbor noticed water pouring out under a patio door.

If you know that a home in your neighborhood is vacant, keep an eye out for water leaking from under doors, or frost building up on the insides of windows. Call Madison Water Utility if you suspect problems and don’t know where to locate the property’s owner. (608)  266-4661 (dispatcher)

For a closer look at what our inspectors find inside flooded homes, check out our latest Inside MWU article.

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