Cold Weather Tips
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Cold Weather Plumbing Tips

Help Prevent Your Water Pipes from Freezing!

  • Seal all air leaks that may let an icy blast reach your pipes.
  • Water pipes located next to an outside wall are often subjected to sub-freezing temperatures. Any plumbing located in a garage or any other unheated building is susceptible to low temperatures. Any exposed pipes should be wrapped or insulated. There are other devices such as heat tape which can be used to keep pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the water meter box lid closed to prevent the meter from freezing. Report broken or missing lids by calling (540) 853-5700.
  • Don't forget outside faucets. Turn off valves to outside faucets and then drain any water in the faucets. If there are no valves to outside faucets, they may be protected by insulating them and then placing a plastic bag over them to protect the insulation.
  • Pipes in cabinets could be located against an outside wall. Even if these pipes have been insulated, you should consider leaving the cabinet doors open to allow the heat in the room to keep them from freezing.
  • If your house has a crawl space located under it, close all air vents located in the foundation wall. This will prevent the pipes in the crawl space from being exposed to the cold air.
  • If you plan an extended vacation during cold weather, call us at (540) 853-5700 to have the water turned off at the meter. Then, you may drain your water pipes, turn off the water heater and other water using devices, to give your pipes extra protection from freezing.
If Your Water Pipes Freeze......
Even if all precautions are taken you still might find a frozen pipe in your house. Open the cold water faucet nearest the frozen pipe to relieve the pressure of expanding ice that may cause a pipe to burst.
Call the Water Authority at (540) 853-5700 if you have no water at all.

Thawing a Frozen Pipe......
Be careful! Gentle heat from a light bulb, hairdryer on warm setting or heat tape is good. If the pipe is already cracked from freezing, as the water thaws, it may begin to spray out risking danger of electrocution if it sprays the applicance you are using for thawing. Do not use a torch or other open flame.

Find Your Main Water Cut-off Valve.....
Look for this now! Imagine the panic, if water was pouring through the house from a broken pipe.

Locate the main water cut-off valve, mark it, and make sure everyone in the house knows where it is. Most man water cut-off valves are located on the wall where the water enters the house or near the washing machine or water heater.