Stay winter wise by winterizing water systems - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Stay winter wise by winterizing water systems

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Frozen pipes can cause costly damage to your home. Frozen pipes can cause costly damage to your home.

Frozen pipes can cause costly damage to your home.

Heating and plumbing experts advise the following precautions to your water systems any time winter weather sends temperatures plummeting.

Disconnect all exterior garden hoses and insulate exterior wall hydrants.

Close and seal all exterior hose bibs or other exposed piping, such as drains from kitchen sinks or washers.

Washing machines and water heaters are often located in unheated spaces like storage rooms in detatched carports. Heat-tape and insulate all exterior hose bibs or other exposed piping. Rooms containing the washing machine need to be heated to protect the pump and interior piping of the washer. The washer trap may be concealed. In this case, add potable antifreeze by pouring about a pint down the washer drain. The washer may also be flushed with this antifreeze.

Heat-tape and insulate well pumps, tanks and piping.

Open cabinet doors containing plumbing, such as lavatories or sinks that are located on exterior walls.

During extremely cold temperatures, it may be necessary to leave a small stream of water running, about the size of a number-two pencil lead, from hot and cold faucets located on exterior walls.

If you have plumbing in unused winter spaces, such as pool houses and pool equipment rooms, turn off the water and drain the systems. Heat-tape and insulate all piping and/or heat the space to protect any undrainable sections of the systems.

Many homes have plumbing located above garages that are unheated. These areas must be heated and all openings closed and sealed during freezing weather.

Unused plumbing systems may be filled or flushed with potable antifreeze, like the types used in campers and motor homes.

If piping does freeze, turn off water at the source such as the main shutoff or meter. Warm the piping and the surrounding area with a hair dryer or a space heater. DO NOT use open flames such as torches. When the system is thawed partially, open the main water shutoff and check the system for leaks.

Information furnished by Dean Plumbing-Heating-Cooling.

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