Freezing Weather Tips from UC Public Works

Posted by Melody Friday, January 15, 2016 12:13:00 PM

An Update from UC Public Works


Temperatures are falling and now is the time to take precautions now to prevent water leaks, burst pipes, and property damage. Frozen pipes build water pressure and can cause cracks in any type of pipes. A one-eighth crack can unleash more than 250 gallons of water a day and cause flooding, high water bills, and serious property damage. Taking the following inexpensive precautions may help protect your home. 

Cold Weather Precautions 

  • Use inexpensive pipe wrap, such as foam insulation, to protect pipes in unheated areas or anywhere they are exposed to freezing temperatures. Pipes under homes with very little insulation, such as some mobile homes, are at most risk. Insulated pipe wraps are easily purchased at your local home improvement or hardware store. 
  • Set furnace no lower than 55 degrees to prevent pipes from freezing inside unoccupied structures.  
  • Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks and to appliances near exterior walls. 
  • Never let faucets drip outside. Inspect outside faucets. If dripping or leaking, make the necessary repairs or call a plumber before a freeze. Cold weather will freeze a small drip, fill the faucet, and freeze the pipe potentially causing it to burst. 
  • Disconnect outside water hoses from spigots. If left connected during freezing temperatures, water in hoses can freeze and expand causing connecting faucets and pipes to burst. 
  • Hose spigots will typically freeze where the pipes enter the structure, and where pipes are exposed to an outer wall, crawl space, or under mobile structures. 
  • Cover exterior faucets with an inexpensive exterior faucet cover and wrap pipes with insulation. 
  • Drain and winterize irrigation systems and wrap pipes where they are exposed and exit the ground. 
  • With severe cold, a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze. Seal leaks that allow cold air inside, near where pipes are located. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents and pipes. Use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out and the heat in.