Going away for the winter or upcoming holidays? Below freezing temperatures combined with low or zero water usage in uninhabited homes and businesses increases the risk of frozen pipes. Water expands as it freezes and water left sitting in pipes or the water meter increases the potential for freezing. Property owners are responsible for protecting pipes and any damage caused by freezing starting at the meter and throughout their property.
Several hardware and home improvement stores carry foam insulation and materials to help winterize homes. Minimize your risk of frozen pipes while away by following these tips.
- Set winter thermostat to a minimum of 50°F. Never completely shut off the heat when you are away, lower the thermostat, but never shut it off.
- Wrap exposed water pipes, especially those in unheated areas such as a basement or crawl space, with insulation and/or heat tape.
- For mobile homes, make sure the skirting is in place and water pipes under the mobile home should be wrapped with insulation and heat tape.
- Know where the water shut-off valve is or have one installed.
- Purchase and install stop and waste valves to enable drainage of the water line to the water meter.
- Disconnect garden hoses from all outdoor faucets to allow frost-free faucets to drain, and cover outdoor fixtures with insulation.
The City Water Division offers winterization meter shut-off. Cost for the service is $25 plus tax. After the water meter is shut off at the street, a plumber can drain the water pipes and water heater. Don’t forget to call the Water Division before returning to have the water turned back on.
Contact the Water Division at (505) 955-4333 to request a winterization shut-off service. Individual properties may have unique circumstances where the water should not be shut off, for example, water supply for radiant heat.
If a water meter or water pipes are frozen, call the Water Division, (505) 955-4333, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. -5 p.m. or (505) 955-4300 after hours or on weekends.
For more information about water conservation in Santa Fe, including the Drought Water Management plan, residential and commercial rebate programs, and outdoor/indoor water use requirements please visit www.savewatersantafe.com