Simple Steps to Protect Against Freezing Pipes and Related Disruptions

The heart of the winter will be here before you know it and, as it does every year, the colder weather can wreak havoc on a home’s water system if it isn’t properly prepared. The Plainview Water District (PWD) wants all residents are prepared for the coming temperature drop by ensuring they have the tools and tips to properly protect their water systems this winter.  

“There are fairly simple tips to prepare your home’s water system for the cold winter months, but failing to do so can have some costly consequences if areas in your home are not protected,” said PWD Chairman Marc Laykind. “When water systems are not adequately winterized, they become subject to breaks and/or leaks when exposed to stretches of cold weather. By following these tips, our residents can help themselves avoid the grief and expense that frozen pipes can bring.”

All Plainview-Old Bethpage residents are encouraged to use these tips to help avoid any damage caused by frozen pipes:

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, preventing the pipe from bursting.
  • Disconnect and drain all hoses and keep in a warm, dry place for reuse in the spring.

Sprinkler Systems:

  • Sprinkler systems should be winterized 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 decreased functionality.

Indoor Maintenance:

  • 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.

Water Lines Leading to Unheated Structures:

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