Temperatures in the Pensacola area are forecast to drop into the low 30’s Thursday night. As temperatures drop below freezing, many homeowners and businesses face the inconvenience and expense that come with frozen water pipes.

Here are a few recommendations Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA) customers can take to ready their home’s plumbing for the expected cold conditions. External, exposed pipes are naturally the most vulnerable to freezing.                                              

THE BACKFLOW PREVENTER: Residents and business owners who have backflow preventers on their properties for water lines, fire lines, irrigation systems, and swimming pools need to protect their backflow preventers from freeze as well. Extended freezes can burst the body of the backflow assembly, rendering it useless. Wrap these pipes with insulation materials, made especially for this purpose. These materials can be found in most hardware stores or home improvement centers. If the device and the water lines are not in use at this time (i.e., irrigation system or swimming pool lines), shut off the water supply line and drain the backflow device.

INSULATE PIPES OR FAUCETS IN UNHEATED AREAS: Pipes located in unheated areas of your house, such as a garage or crawl space under the house or in the attic, are subject to freezing. If you have time to do this before freezing temperatures arrive, wrap these pipes with insulation materials made especially for this purpose. These materials can be found in most hardware stores or home improvement centers.

DISCONNECT AND DRAIN OUTDOOR HOSES: Detach all hoses from faucets and allow them to drain. This will prevent the water in the hose or pipe from freezing and bursting the faucet or pipe to which it is connected.

RUN A TRICKLE OF WATER: When forecasts call for sustained and / or severe freezing temperatures, run thin trickles of water from the faucet furthest from the water line coming to your house. Usually this is in a room at the back of the house or outside, in the yard. Allowing the water to circulate through your home’s plumbing helps to keep it from freezing. Some consider this a waste of water, but the cost of the water used is extremely slight compared to that of repairing broken pipes and the resulting water damage.

For more information call Customer Service at (850) 476-0480.