Seasonal Maintenance – Getting Ready for Winter

Seasonal Maintenance – Getting Ready for Winter

Winter’s freezing temperatures can be harsh on your home’s plumbing.  If your water service stops working, the first thing you should do is call MSC at 302-323-2330.  MSC Customers are responsible for their water service lines from the curb stop in to their home and all pipes inside their property line.  If any of these pipes freeze, the homeowner is responsible for thawing or repairing them or calling a licensed plumber.

If the meter is frozen, MSC will replace it and bill the customer for the cost.  Do not attempt to repair a frozen meter.  Only MSC employees are authorized to work on our water meters.  As a reminder, please keep your meter setting clear of obstacles.  This ensures our crews can access the meter for maintenance and your emergency shutoff valve is easily accessible should you need it.

Before the cold weather hits:

  • Winterize (blow out) your lawn sprinkler system. This reduces the chance of water freezing and breaking the pipes.  Sprinkler installers, landscapers and private contractors offer this service or you can do it yourself.
  • Disconnect and drain garden hoses and connections, close any hose bib shutoff valves and consider covering hose bibs.
  • Prevent cold air from seeping inside.Close outside vents, crawl spaces and doors.  Fix broken windows, seal cracks in the walls and foundations.  Also, keep your garage door closed to prevent cold air from reaching pipes and water heaters.
  • To help protect pipes along outside walls, open the cabinet doors under sinks to allow warm air to circulate.
  • Insulate pipes by wrapping them in commercial insulation.  For extra protection, wrap pipes subject to cold or freezing in heat tape before insulating.
  • If you’re going away, keep a minimum amount of heat on in the house. You may also want to keep a thin stream of water running from a faucet.
  • If you plan to turn the heat off, drain all the water from the pipes, toilets and water heater, and turn off the power source to the water heater.
  • Place a tag on the main water shutoff valve to your home and make sure everyone in the house knows its location and how to operate it in an emergency.

Thawing Frozen Pipes – Act Quickly and Turn Off the Water

If your pipes freeze, turn off the water supply at the main shutoff valve for your home.  MSC recommends customers contact a licensed plumber for assistance.  Do not turn the water back on until you are certain there are no leaks.