Cold Weather Plumbing Tips

Help Prevent Your Water Pipes from Freezing!

Seal all air leaks that may let an icy blast reach your pipes.

Water pipes located next to an outside wall can often be subjected to sub-freezing temperatures. Plumbing located in a garage or any other unheated building is susceptible to low temperatures. Any exposed pipes should be wrapped or insulated. There are other devices such as heat tape which can be used to keep pipes from freezing.

Keep the water meter box lid closed, to prevent the meter from freezing. Report broken or missing lids by calling ACSA at (434) 845-1605.

Don't forget outside faucets, if they are older non frost-free models. Turn off valves to outside faucets and then drain any water in the faucets. If there are no valves to outside faucets, they may be protected by insulating them and then placing a plastic bag over them to protect the insulation, or covering them with an insulated cover, (available at many building supply stores).

Pipes in cabinets could be located against an outside wall. Even if these pipes have been insulated, you should consider leaving the cabinet doors open to allow the heat in the room to keep them from freezing.

If your house has a crawl space located under it, close all air vents located in the foundation wall. This will prevent the pipes in the crawl space from being exposed to the cold air.

If you plan an extended vacation during cold weather, call ACSA at (434) 845-1605 to have the water turned off at the meter, and the account made inactive. Then you may drain your water pipes; turn off the water heater and other water-using device, to give your pipes extra protection from freezing.

If Your Water Pipes Freeze.

Even if all precautions are taken you still might find a frozen pipe in your house. Open the cold water faucet nearest the frozen pipe to relieve the pressure of expanding ice that may cause a pipe to burst.

Thawing a Frozen Pipe.

Be careful! Gentle heat from a light bulb, hairdryer on warm setting or heat tape is good. If the pipe is already cracked from freezing, as the water thaws, it may begin to spray out risking danger of electrocution if it sprays the applicance you are using for thawing. Do not use a torch, or other open flame.