Using This Information Can Help Prevent the Headaches Caused by Frozen Pipes

The Plainview Water District (PWD) would like to inform its customers of some simple tips to follow in an effort to better prepare water systems for the colder months. Water systems, when left exposed to the elements, can become very susceptible to breaks and leaks as temperatures begin to drop. PWD residents are encouraged to take advantage of these cold weather tips and help protect their homes from unwanted disruptions or damages caused by frozen pipes.

“It is very important for every customer to properly prepare the water systems in their home for the colder, winter months,” stated PWD Chairman Marc Laykind. “By following these few simple steps, you can save yourself the headache, frustration and expense of repairs caused by damaged pipes.”

Indoor Maintenance Before Colder Weather Arrives:

If a customer’s water service is in the boiler room or basement, check the area for broken windows or drafts. Brisk winds and freezing temperatures can cause pipes and water meters to freeze or break. In preparation, locate the main water shutoff valve in your home in case of an emergency and make sure pipes in unheated areas—like crawl spaces—are properly insulated.

It is also advised that all customers clearly label the main water shutoff valve in their home so they are prepared in the event of a water leak emergency. Shutoff valves are typically located where the water service enters the house through the foundation.

Outdoor Water Systems:

Don’t forget to turn off those hose spigots from inside the house and leave the outside valves open to prevent freezing. This allows any trapped water to expand in freezing temperatures and prevents pipes from bursting. Disconnect and drain all hoses and keep in a warm, dry place for reuse in the spring. Check your water meter pit covers and make sure they are bolted tightly in place and secured.

Sprinkler Systems:

Sprinkler systems should be drained and turned off to prevent possible leaks and damage to the system. Leaks in sprinkler systems caused by burst pipes can be hard to identify when the systems return back on line, leading to increased water usage and inefficient functionality.

Water Lines Leading to Unheated Structures:

Be sure to shut off and drain service lines leading the unheated structures until spring to prevent breaks.

Keep Fire Hydrants Clear:

Lastly, be a good neighbor this winter during any snowstorms and clear a path to your nearest fire hydrant. In the event of a fire, precious time is lost when firefighters have to locate and shovel out fire hydrants.

If you have questions about preparing your home’s water system for the winter or general inquiries about your water service, please call 516-931-6469 or send an email to