With Winter Close, Now is a Good Time to Protect Water Pipes

Wrapping and insulation can help prevent freezing and bursting lines

Just a month ago, daytime highs reached an unseasonably warm 80 degrees, but recent temperature dips suggest winter is just around the corner.

When frigid weather impacts the area, Starkville Utilities reminds everyone to check on their water pipes as they also protect people, pets and plants from the cold.

“Even though we already have experienced some freezing temps in recent weeks, it always is a good idea to make sure pipes are well-insulated and protected,” said Edward Kemp, Starkville Utilities general manager. “Taking a few minutes now to double check wrapping and insulation can help prevent problems later.”

Water pipes are more prone to freezing when the outside temperature reaches 20 degrees or below, but Starkville Utilities suggests customers take precautions anytime temperatures are forecasted to dip below 32 degrees. Outdoor faucets and lines, pipes that run along exterior walls and those in basements, crawl spaces, attics or garages face increased risk.

Here are some helpful tips as you gear up for cold weather:

  • If you haven’t already done so, cover exposed pipes with insulation sleeves or wrapping to help 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 are located on an exterior wall.
  • To keep cold air outside where it belongs, use 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 you leave your heating system running. Keep the thermostat set at 55 degrees or above.
“Adding protective barriers to any exposed points is a good investment, and most can be purchased for less than the cost of a cup of coffee,” said Kemp. “That way, short-term freezes are less likely to burst your pipes, and potentially can save you thousands of dollars in damage.”

In addition, Starkville Utilities recommends all customers locate their water shut-off valve in case a pipe does freeze and burst. The shut-off valve controls all the water flow into the home and knowing the location and how to turn it off in advance can save valuable time and prevent water damage. If customers need help finding it, they can call a licensed plumber for assistance.

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