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Winter Freeze Protection

If you need assistance turning off your water, please call Rainbow at 541-746-1676!

During Cold Weather Take Preventative Actions 
  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up and out of the reach of children.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, about 20 degrees or lower, let the water drip from the cold and hot water faucets served by exposed pipes. Even a slow drip could help relieve pressure that would normally cause a pipe to burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F. Leaving one or more faucets dripping could protect against a power outage and loss of heat in your absence.
  • Another option is to shut off the water to your house and drain the pipes by flushing toilets and running water through faucets. If you do this, you will also want to turn off your water heater at the breaker.
Preventing Frozen Pipes 

Before the onset of cold weather, prevent freezing of these water supply lines and pipes by following these recommendations:

  • Disconnect outside hoses. Wrap faucets and install plastic or faucet covers.
  • Drain water from sprinkler supply lines and backflow preventer following manufacturer’s or installer’s directions. Wrap the backflow preventer with insulating material.
  • Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors.
  • Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
  • Insulate all pipes located in unheated areas, such as in the garage and garden. Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a foam “pipe sleeve” or installing UL-listed “heat tape,” “heat cable,” or similar materials on exposed water pipes.
  • Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even 1/4 inches of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
To Thaw Frozen Pipes 
  • If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
  • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hairdryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame devices.
  • Apply heat until the full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
  • Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
Weathering the Winter Brochure
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