WILMINGTON, MA – As the winter weather arrives, it is important for residents to take proper precautions to avoid the costly damage that can results from freezing pipes. Residents can prevent this by following a few simple precautions:
Locate your master shut off valve. The master shut-off valve controls all of the water into your home. Residents should know the valve location and how to turn it off as this can save valuable time and prevent water damage in an emergency. Once you locate the main shut off valve, mark it so everyone in your family can find it should an emergency occur.
Keep cold air out. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents and pipes, and use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out. With severe cold, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze.
Insulate pipes. Insulate pipes in your home’s crawl spaces and attic. Exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing.
Disconnect garden hoses. Disconnect garden hoses and, if possible, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This reduces the chance of freezing in the short span of pipe just inside the house.
Keep the water running. A trickle of water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing. In extremely cold weather, let water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall. The cost of water is small compared to dealing with the cost and inconvenience of frozen or burst pipes.
(NOTE: The above message is from a recent Town Topics newsletter.)
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