You're bundling up for the cold temperatures, but the pipes in your home need protection too.
Every winter, hundreds of water meters and pipes freeze in Twin Cities metro homes, according to the city of St. Paul water services department. Here are a few tips to make sure it doesn't happen to you.
1. Resist the urge to turn down the heat if the house is empty on days when the temperatures dip.
2. Open the kitchen cabinets so warm air can get inside."It's better than leaving your water to trickle," said Dave Vogelgesang of Aqua City Plumbing. "That can cause problems because the waste line is also in that cold area. If the waste line freezes up, it's going to be just like an icicle. Then … it's going to overflow."
3. Check along the foundation and crawl spaces for cold-air leaks.
4. Close off crawl space vents.
5. Replace or repair broken or cracked basement windows.
6. Make sure that basement doors and windows close tightly.
7. Make sure the valves on either side of the water meter work and can be turned off.
8. Seal or caulk cracks in walls.
9. Insulate your pipes.
10. Attach a circulator to the water heater. Installation runs between $250-400, but it will move hot water through the pipes as often as you want.
If you plan on vacating the home for the winter, consider having your water shut off and the water meter removed for those months. The heat can go out and the water pipes can freeze, bursting if the water pipes then thaw out in warmer temps.