Prepare for Cold Weather & Freezing Temps -
Caulk around pipes where they enter the house and close all foundation vents.
Insulate outside spigots, or shut them off from inside the house and drain them.
Wrap all pipes located in unheated areas. Use insulating tape or molded pipe covering (photo) to wrap the entire length of exposed pipe. Check your local hardware or discount store for supplies.
Locate and mark your main control valve and show everyone in the house how to turn off the water in an emergency. The main valve is located next to the water meter (right), which is typically in a basement or wherever the furnace and hot water heater are located.
During periods with below freezing temperatures, open cupboard doors in the kitchen and bathroom to allow heat to reach areas where pipes come in contact with outside walls. Place a light near the water meter to keep the area warm.
If Your Pipes Freeze:
Thaw the pipe safely. If you know where the pipes are frozen, you can attempt to thaw them with a hair dryer. Using a low heat setting, wave the warm air back and forth along the pipe. It’s a slow but safe process.
Do NOT use an open flame to thaw frozen pipes. You could start a fire. Also, overheating a single spot can cause the pipe to burst.
Be prepared to turn off the main control valve (right). The pipe you are thawing may already be broken, cracked or split. Water could come gushing out as the pipe thaws.
If Your Pipes Break:
Shut off the water and the water heater. If you can’t find the main control valve (illustration), or the valve doesn’t work and water is leaking in the house, call the Division of Water at 614-645-8272 (Monday though Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.); after hours and weekends call 614-645-7788.
If You Can't Thaw Your Pipes:
If none of your faucets or fixtures are working and you can’t determine where the pipes are frozen, your service line may be frozen; you may need to seek assisatance from a plumber.