As deep freeze continues, be sure to protect your pipes

Friday, December 29, 2017 - 8:16am

As this stretch of frigid weather continues, Madison Water Utility is reminding people to make sure their water pipes are protected. Here are some simple steps you can take right now to help keep your pipes from freezing:

  • Double-check outdoor spigots to make sure they are turned off.
  • Insulate pipes near basement windows and in unheated areas like crawl spaces, 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. You can also sign up for water use email alerts if you’re headed out of town, so you’ll be notified after 24 hours of unusually high use – sometimes a sign of a cracked or broken pipe.

Burst water pipes can be a nightmare. Take a look at video taken inside a vacant Madison home where pipes froze and burst on the second floor. The mess wasn’t found until spring, when a neighbor noticed water pouring out from 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 dispatch if you suspect problems and don’t know where to locate the property’s owner: (608) 266-4661.


Water Utility