Find the master shutoff. It's usually where the water line comes into your
house. If a pipe bursts anywhere in the house - kitchen, bath, basement or crawl
space - this valve turns it off. Find it now and paint it a bright color or hang a
tag on it. Show your family how it works.
Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses. Find the shut-off valve for outdoor faucets and
turn them off. Follow the same procedure for identifying the valves.
Disconnect the hose and open faucet to allow water to drain from the pipe.
3. Insulate pipes and faucets in unheated areas.
If you have pipelines in an unheated garage or cold crawl
under the house, wrap the water pipe before cold weather arrives. Check pipes that
may be behind finished basement walls and make sure they are protected properly.
4. During extreme cold spells, it's best to leave a faucet in
the house running. Leave a pencil-thin stream of water flowing from a bathroom
5. What if it's too late? Despite precautions,
pipes can freeze during an extended cold spell. If you think you know where the
freeze-up occurred and want to thaw it yourself, never use a torch! Use a
hair dryer, waving it back and forth along the pipe. Be prepared to close the master
shut off valve if the frozen pipe begins to leak.