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Have Your Water Pipes Frozen this Year?

Posted by sbild on February 13, 2023

Have Your Water Pipes Frozen this Year? If you haven’t had frozen pipes yet this year in Mammoth Lakes, you are one of the lucky ones. Many times, especially if a home or condo is unoccupied, owners come back to find their home or condo has an unexpected swimming pool … a little prevention can save you significant damage and THOUSANDS of dollars.   

Here are a few ideas to keep your water pipes from freezing:

  • If you plan to be away for any period of time, arrange for someone to check your house or apartment. Educate your family, others in your household, and house-sitters on what to do if water pipes freeze. Show them where your water shut-off valve is located. Most home water meters are located in the basement. The shut-off valve can usually be found between the wall and the meter.
  • If you’re going to be gone – even for a weekend getaway during the winter – turn your water off at the meter.
    • Also, shut off the water supply valves to your washing machine. Washing machine waterlines can become thin over the years and burst causing extensive damage. (If you’re living in a condo, the units below you can get damaged, too.)
  • NEVER set your home’s thermostat below 55 degrees. This applies to single-family homes as well as condos.
  • Open cabinet doors below sinks to circulate heat from the home into the cabinets.
  • Do not shut off heat to areas of your home that contain any plumbing or water fixtures. Keep doors to bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry facilities open. Open doors to cabinets that contain pipes, especially those located on the north side of the house, to expose the plumbing to warmer air inside the house.
  • Repair any cracks or holes around doors or windows to keep cold winter winds from blowing in and freezing water pipes and meters.
  • If your home has unheated areas, wrap pipes with heat tape (follow manufacturer’s instructions) or cover them thoroughly with pipe insulation.
  • If your plumbing does freeze, try to thaw it naturally by turning up the thermostat in your home and opening doors and cupboards to circulate warm air. You should not apply direct heat to your pipes, but if necessary, a hair dryer or another source of indirect heat could be used to help thaw frozen pipes.

TIP: Do this every Fall!

Even if you don’t leave, one thing you should do every fall is disconnect and remove ALL garden hoses and install covers on all outside faucets. Water standing in the hose will freeze up into your home, busting your pipes. Many newer outside faucets now are a frost-proof sill cock which prevents the faucets from freezing, but you still will want to remove the hose and store it where it won’t freeze.

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