Protect your plumbing from freezing weather

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD)- Local residents are urged to implement protective measures for their water pipes as temperatures threaten to drop below freezing.  Frozen water expands, potentially bursting the pipe and when it thaws leaks develop that can cause considerable damage.  When freezing temperatures cause power outages customers should limit their use of the wastewater system.

Tips you need to know:

  • Leave a pencil-lead-thin stream of water flowing from an outside and inside faucet. Ten gallons of water cost less than 10 cents, repairing a leak and the subsequent damage could cost thousands.
  • Insulate all exposed pipes and enclose crawl spaces.
  • Plug up drafty cracks and repair broken window panes.
  • Remove hoses from outside faucets and be sure faucets are drained and shut off (except the one faucet left dripping).
  • Locate the shut-off valve at your home or business in case a frozen pipe burst. (Visit https://www.mountpleasantwaterworks.com/customers/resources/videos

for an educational video on your home’s water shut off valve.)

  • Keep meter box lids closed.
  • If you are experiencing a power outage, minimize the use of the wastewater system.

What to do if you have a tankless water heater:

  • Refer to your tankless water heater’s manufacturer to verify the lowest temperatures your system can withstand without freezing.
  • Consider buying a water heater blanket to protect your system from freezing.
  • Contact your plumber to ensure that your system is properly protected.

What to do if you are going out of town during freezing weather:

  • Turn off your water heater at the electric breaker panel.
  • Turn off your water at either the shut off valve or at the water meter.
  • Open a faucet in the house to let air into the pipes to allow the ice expansion to prevent pipe breaks.

Don’t forget to protect your above-ground backflow device:

  • You can find a variety of insulated covers at most lawn and garden or landscape supply stores.
  • Or, simply wrap your device with insulation and tape. Backflow devices are equipped with valves directly on the unit.  Locate the valves are so you can turn off the water off.

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