Winter Pipe Maintenance
When the temperature takes a nose dive, water in your pipes can freeze, causing them to burst. Water floods your home and ruins your furnishings, and you have to pay to have it all repaired and replaced. It’s costly and inconvenient. But it doesn’t have to happen if you follow these simple precautions.Wrap Up for Winter
Wrap exposed pipes with insulating material. Pipes under kitchen sinks, in crawl spaces, near windows or in unheated basements are areas susceptible to freezing.
Find Your Shut-off Valve
Locate your inside water shut-off valve now! The shut-off valve controls all of the water into your home. If a pipe bursts, knowing the location of your shut-off valve and how to turn it off, can save valuable time and prevent water damage.
The shut-off valve may be located in the basement, under the kitchen sink, in a utility closet, near the hot water heater, or even under the house in a crawl space. If you cannot locate or do not have a shut-off valve, call your plumber.
Try turning off your shut-off valve. Then turn on each of the faucets in your house, if no water comes out you found the main shut-off valve. Once you locate the main shut-off valve mark it so everyone in your family can find it should an emergency occur. Louisville Water offers free, water-proof identifiers that attch to the valve. Customers can get the tags at Louisville Water's downtown office, 550 South Third Street. Or, use a bright-colored ribbon.
Make Sure You Have it Covered
If your house has a crawl space, cover the outside vents to prevent winter winds from entering and freezing pipes. Keep the garage door closed if you have a slab foundation. Some water pipes are located under concrete floors in the garage.
Problems with Frozen Pipes in the Past?
Keep the water running, especially if you’ve had problems with frozen pipes in the past. Try running a small steady stream of water from a cold water faucet in extremely cold weather. The cost of the water is small compared to dealing with the cost and inconvenience of frozen or burst pipes. Make sure you run the water from a faucet children don’t use, because they may inadvertently shut off the faucet after using it.
Louisville Water maintains over 4,100 miles of water main throughout its distribution system. In addition, the company is responsible for 24,000 public fire hydrants. Prior to the winter season, crews train in winter safety procedures, winterize fire hydrants and adjust the company's inventory to prepare for any cold weather issues with water mains.