Prevent Frozen Pipes

Prevent Frozen Pipes

When freezing temperatures come our way, we encourage you to protect your water pipes.

Taking steps ahead of time can help prevent burst water pipes and costly repairs, especially when temperatures dip well below freezing for extended periods of time. 

Some of the steps that GUC recommends customers take to protect their water pipes include:

  • Insulate pipes in unheated parts of your home. Insulation materials are available at local hardware stores.
  • Seal any openings and air leaks in crawl spaces or basements; use cardboard, plastic or newspaper to seal air vents if necessary.
  • Open doors on cabinets below sinks to allow warmer room air to circulate around plumbing at night, especially in bathrooms along exterior walls.
  • Be sure garden hoses are disconnected from outdoor spigots.
  • Unplug automatic lawn sprinkler systems. Irrigation line breaks and sprinklers spraying onto sidewalks and roadways will quickly lead to serious public safety hazards and expensive repairs. If you must irrigate your lawn this time of year, do so during daylight hours when temperatures are well above freezing.
  • Locate the master water shut-off valve in your home now in case you experience a burst pipe, and need to cut off your water in a hurry.

We also encourage commercial and residential water customers with irrigation systems to take steps to protect their backflow prevention equipment from cold weather damage that can cause system leaks:

  • The best way to prevent freezing on an irrigation backflow connection is to drain the assembly of all water for the winter. Turn off your irrigation system at the shut-off valve and drain the system. Open test cocks and shut-off valves on the assembly to discharge any water. Leave valves open 1/8 of a turn. A fully open or fully closed valve will trap water behind the ball in the valve which will leave the valve susceptible to freezing.
  • If your device/connection remains in use for the winter, be sure the backflow cover fits securely to the ground to prevent air infiltration. Check your cover for any cracks, holes, splits, etc.
  • Wrap old blankets or beach towels around the assembly for temporary protection during the peak of the cold temperatures.


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