Living in the deep south, winterizing our plumbing systems is not always a major priority. As water freezes, it will expand inside the pipes and may crack or break exposed pipes. If you, like many of your neighbors, have not properly prepared for a hard freeze such as the one predicted for this weekend, there are some precautions you can take now to prevent damage to your water pipes.
To prevent water pipe damage:
- If you have the time, you can properly insulate your exposed pipes with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves. Old rags or newspapers will also work, just make sure to wrap them in at least an inch of your chosen material, then cover with plastic or aluminum foil to keep them dry.
- Disconnect and drain garden hoses.
- As the temperature reaches 32 degrees, turn on an indoor faucet, just until you have a steady stream, and leave it running until temperatures return to more than 32 degrees. It is only necessary to run one faucet, just make sure it is the one that is farthest from your water meter.
- If, despite all precautions, a pipe freezes and causes a leak, turn off your water at the meter, then run all your indoor faucets to drain the water from the pipes so you can make the necessary repairs to the pipe.
Other precautions to consider:
- All pets should be brought indoors.
- Move potted plants indoors. Plants too large to move inside or sensitive in-ground plants may be covered with a large sheet, tablecloth, or plastic bag that will provide some protection.
- Check the coolant in your car. If you’ve only been adding water, you should add coolant to the cooling system as well as something to prevent your washer reservoir from freezing, such as Windex or other window cleaner.
- Make sure your tires and battery are in top-notch condition, as both may also be negatively affected by freezing weather.
Getting Assistance from Public Works:
Public Works will be closed December 23-26, but if you have an emergency, call the Leesville Police Department at 337-238-0331. They’ll get in touch with the proper personnel to assist you.