Make Sure Your Home is Prepared for Sub-Freezing Weather

Take precautions now to prevent freezing and bursting water lines

As Starkville braces for a round of sub-freezing weather, Starkville Utilities is reminding customers to take steps now to protect water lines, prevent costly repairs and maintain water flow to their homes.

“Nighttime temperatures next week could dip into the single digits, which poses serious risks for water lines,” said Edward Kemp, Starkville Utilities general manager. “Making sure they’re adequately wrapped and insulated helps maintain water flow and can prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.”

Water pipes are more prone to freezing when outside temperatures reach 20 degrees or below, but it’s highly recommended to take precautions when temperatures are forecast below 32 degrees. Outdoor faucets and lines, pipes that run along exterior walls and those in basements, crawl spaces, attics and garages are especially vulnerable.

Customers are encouraged to monitor weather conditions and follow these tips to prepare for cold weather:

  • Cover exposed pipes with insulation sleeves or wrapping to protect them from the cold. A variety of products can be found at local plumbing supply stores, and outdoor faucet covers add additional protection from the elements.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer inside air to circulate around pipes, especially if they’re located on an exterior wall.
  • Keep cold air outside where it belongs by using caulk or expandable foam to seal cracks and holes in walls where pipes are located.
  • Keep garage doors closed, especially if the garage contains water lines.
  • Let water trickle from a faucet served by exposed pipes. Just a slight drip can help prevent pipes from freezing.
  • If you plan to be away from home when temps dip below freezing, make sure to leave your heating system running. Keep the thermostat set at 55 degrees or above.

In addition, Starkville Utilities recommends all customers locate their homes’ water shut-off valves in case a pipe freezes and bursts. Since the shut-off valve controls all water flow into the home, knowing its location and how to turn it off in advance can save valuable time and prevent water damage. If customers need help finding it or installing one, they should call a licensed plumber for assistance.

“Spending a few dollars to protect pipes could potentially save thousands when considering the damages a burst pipe can cause,” Kemp said. “Adding protective barriers to any exposed points is a wise investment that can lessen the risk posed by short-term freezes.”

Starkville Utilities is a public utility serving 14,000 residences, businesses and industries in Starkville, Mississippi as well as Mississippi State University. Its mission is to supply safe, reliable, and cost-effective electric and water service of superior quality and value that improves the lives of its customers.

We are a Water and Electric Utilities Company in Starkville