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Time to Winterize Water Pipes

November 10, 2010
With winter just around the corner, taking a few simple steps to winterize your water pipes now can help prevent costly future repairs, as well as save water and energy.
Tennessee American Water offers these tips to get your home ready for the winter:
  • Search for pipes that are not insulated, or that pass through unheated spaces such as crawlspaces, basements, or garages. Wrap them with pre-molded foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation, available at hardware stores.
  • Before freezing weather sets in, make sure the water to your hose bibs is shut off inside your house (via a turnoff valve), and that lines are drained.
  • Nearly 15 percent of an average home energy bill goes to heating water. Wrapping your water heater in an insulation blanket can help reduce heat loss.
  • To save wear and tear on your cooling system, drain any hoses and air conditioner pipes and check for excess water pooled in equipment. If your home is heated by a hot-water radiator, bleed the valves by opening them slightly. Close them when water appears.
  • If your weather temperature will fall below 32 degrees in the winter, adding extra insulation to the attic will prevent warm air from creeping into your roof, causing ice damage to the roof and gutters.
  • Keep water temperature around 120 degrees and install inexpensive low-flow shower heads to reduce hot water use. Lowering the temperature to 120 degrees would reduce water heating costs by 6 to 10 percent.
  • Clean out gutters and downspouts to remove debris that could freeze and cause clogs during cold weather. Know where your water main is located in case you need to turn it off during an emergency.

Source: Tennessee American