As winter heads our way, residents should prepare their home inside and outside for the possibility of freezing temperatures. Over the years, Hesperia has experienced some very low temperatures resulting in a record number of frozen and burst water pipes.
Preparing exposed water lines and irrigation systems for the winter freeze should begin before winter arrives. No matter the strength of a pipe, water expanding as it freezes can cause pipes to split open or burst. Pipes which freeze most often are those that are exposed to severe cold, such as:
Outdoor hose bibs;
Swimming pool supply pipes;
Irrigation control valves;
Water supply pipes to the house;
Pipes in unheated interior areas such as basements, attics and garages;
Pipes under kitchen and bathroom cabinets; and
Pipes on exterior walls of the house with little or no insulation.
Placing an insulated cover over control valves, such as a wooden box lined with insulation, will not only protect the valves from the summer heat and winter cold, but will also protect them from being accidentally damaged or vandalized.
Exposed water supply lines on the outside of the house, known as risers, usually have a shut off valve, pressure regulator, and/or hose bib between the ground and where the pipe enters the house. It is very important that this supply line be well insulated. Heat tape, which is sold in most hardware stores, can be wrapped around exposed pipes and then plugged into an outside electrical outlet. Water leaks outside, around any water line, will increase the risk of freezing. Be sure to check and repair all leaks before winter. Get to know the locations of shut off valves before an emergency arises.
Remember, it is always cheaper and more convenient to winterize during warm weather. Don't be without water and waiting for a plumber to repair frozen or broken water pipes during extreme cold temperatures.