The City of Bellingham has some great advice for winterizing your home. Protecting your water service is one important preparation often overlooked in Whatcom County. A severe cold snap can lead to frozen or broken pipes. Frozen water pipes can stop water service and be expensive to repair or replace.
With thoughtful preparation you can prevent freezing or bursting pipes. Here are some steps to help you avoid such an emergency:
• Know the location of your water shut-off valve.
• If you leave for the winter, have your water utility shut-off the water service. Drain your system.
• Disconnect and drain garden hoses and in-ground irrigation systems.
• Insulate any pipes or faucets that are located outside or in unheated areas including attics, garages and crawl spaces. Use heat tape or a molded pipe insulation sleeve.
If your pipes do freeze, place a warm towel or rag around the pipe or try a hair dryer with a low setting. Never thaw a frozen pipe with a torch or open flame because of the potential fire hazard.
If your pipes break, shut off your water and water heater. If you are unable to locate the shut off valve to stop the water, call your local water purveyor for support. For City of Bellingham water customers, contact the Operations Division, 778-7700.
City of Bellingham Snow and Ice Control Services <http://www.cob.org/services/transportation/snow-and-ice-removal.aspx>
Brochure: Preparing Your Water System for Cold Weather <http://www.cob.org/documents/pw/utilities/winterizing-water-alliance-brochure.pdf>