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Your Water Pipes- Cold Weather Best Practices

Your Water Pipes - Cold Weather Best Practices

Water pipes located in a crawlspace or on an outside wall are subjected to sub-freezing temperatures, as are pipes located in a garage or any other unheated building. To help combat this problem and reduce the probability of your pipes freezing and bursting, the County’s Bureau of Utilities recommends the following:


  • Wrap or insulate exposed pipes susceptible to low temperatures.
  • Utilize other devices, such as heat tape, to help keep pipes from freezing.
  • Leave hot and cold water dripping the thickness of a pencil on nights when temperatures dip below 15°F.
  • Some pipes, such as those located in cabinets or vanities, and situated against an outside wall may be insulated but may be likely to freeze. It is a good practice to leave cabinet doors open to allow heat in the room to keep pipes warm and prevent freezing.


The Bureau also suggests these simple steps to avoid a water leak and damage:

  • Turn off inside water valve for any hose connections and open the outside hose bib to drain the line.
  • Know where your home’s inside main water cutoff valve is and check that it is functional by hand. In case of a leak this valve will turn off water flow coming into the home and thereby limit damage.
  • Seal any air leaks that allow icy blasts to reach pipes.
  • For homes with crawl spaces, close outside air vents located in the foundation wall during extremely cold temperatures to keep exposed plumbing from freezing.