Here’s how to protect your pipes and water supply this winter

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – When winter arrives, you probably stock up on warm clothes and start making your holiday shopping list. But are you also thinking about your pipes? Well Owner has some helpful tips on how to keep your water supply safe this winter.

Frozen pipes are a common winter problem for homeowners because water expands as it freezes. This expansion can cause pipes to burst, causing expensive and even dangerous damage.

If you have a well or pipe system for your home that is built above ground or above the frost line, you are particularly at risk of your water supply freezing.

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Here are some of the tips you can follow to keep your home safe and your wallet happy during the colder months:

  • Have your pipes inspected by a certified contractor for early detection of problems.
  • If you have pipes that run through unheated spaces like basements, you can insulate your pipes with rubber jackets or fiberglass insulation.
  • Test your well water for water quality, especially if you’ve been dealing with flooding and rain in the summer. Basically, you should test your well water quality once a year.
  • If you have an above-ground pipe system, consider asking a contractor to build a small insulated enclosure to cover your water pump. This case is designed to help keep the system above 32 degrees, reducing the risk of freezing and other damage.

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  • You may want to turn your water off completely if you are planning a trip or a time away from home. Check if your house has a shut-off valve for its external water supply. Once the supply is shut off, drain the remaining water or use an air compressor to blow out the pipes. If you do not have a shut off valve, consult a local contractor regarding your options.
  • Always keep a portable gas generator and plenty of gas to hook up to your pumping system in case your power goes out. You can also contact a contractor to ask about replacement generators.
  • Also, stock up on bottled water in case your power goes out for an extended period of time.
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