Avoid Burst Pipes and Busting your Budget

In cases of extreme cold weather, Louisville Water recommends allowing cold water to drip (about the size of a pencil point) from faucetsWhile we hope to avoid another arctic blast like the one the holidays brought us, for at least another 30 years, more winter-like temperatures will make a brief return this weekend. It’s important to prepare ahead of time, so you can try to avoid burst pipes and busting your budget.

When temperatures fall below freezing (32 degrees), it’s a good idea to take some precautions:

  • Wrap exposed pipes with insulating material. You can purchase these materials from a hardware store.
  • If your home has a crawl space, cover the outside vents to prevent winter winds from freezing the pipes.
  • If your house has a slab foundation, close the garage door. Some pipes are located under concrete floors in the garage.

In cases of extreme cold weather, Louisville Water recommends allowing cold water to drip (about the size of a pencil point) from faucets near exterior facing walls or from faucets close to pipes that have frozen in the past. This small amount keeps water flowing through the pipes to help prevent them from freezing. Note: It’s important to keep the amount of running water limited to a small drip as that is all is you’ll need to help prevent pipes from freezing and too much water can add up over time. That said, nothing will compare to the cost and headache of busted pipe!

If you do have an emergency, you should know how to turn off the water.

Water shutoff valve tag“Your main shutoff is the valve in your home that will turn off all your water. It’s important to find it, test, and mark it with a waterproof tag,” said Barbara Crow, Louisville Water Community Relations Specialist.

In most homes, the main shutoff valve is in the basement, a crawl space, utility closet, or in the garage.

Crow said, “Everyone in the house needs to know where it is so if a pipe bursts, it can be turned off quickly, avoiding costly water damage.”

Louisville Water provides free tags for customers at its downtown office on Third Street. Just make sure to ask a customer agent when you visit us!

One last tip: know your typical water usage. How many gallons of water does your household typically use? That’s helpful when you see an unexpected increase from one billing cycle to the next. We’ve made it easier to keep track now with Pure Connect℠. Pure Connect shows your water usage trends and you can also sign up for alerts in case of unusual activity, which could indicate a leak.