Be Water Wise, Winterize

Winter Weather

All irrigation systems must be shut off & winterized November 1 through April 1.

Download the All Season Leak Protection Guide with step-by-step instructions.

 Any water pipe exposed to temperatures of 32ºF or below can freeze. As anyone who has put a bottle of water in the freezer can attest, freezing water expands (by 9%). Expansion of water as it freezes can generate enough pressure to burst pipes and fixtures. As those frozen pipes thaw, the water may flood your home, costing money in repairs and on your water bill. Pipes in attics, crawl spaces, and unheated rooms are particularly susceptible to freezing.

While we call it winterization, the process can help deter water loss and property damage from leaks all year long.

Learn more about your "Frosty" frost mat, using your stop and drain valve and meter maintenance.


All homeowners who plan to be away for more than a day should take the following steps in preparation for winter weather:

  • General
    • Turn off your stop and waste drain valve
      • Use a T-Bar to turn it. These can be found at local hardware stores. Store the T-Bar somewhere you can find it easily. 
      • Your stop and waste drain valve must be turned clockwise until snug, usually about a quarter turn. 
      • If it turns more than that, or doesn’t feel secure, be sure to call a professional as it may be time to repair or replace it. If it’s not completely turned off or on it may create a constant leak.
      • Mark your stop and waste drain valve with a tall stake so that you can find it in the snow.
      • Do not shut off your water at the meter. It is a crime!
        • Turning off the water at the meter is illegal, dangerous, and doesn’t drain the water from your home.
  • Outdoors

    • Shut off and drain all outdoor irrigation no later than November 1st  
      • Local regulations require outdoor irrigation winterization November 1 through April 1. 
      • Detach and drain your garden hose 
        • This prevents freezing water from backing up into the wall behind the spigot. 
        • Frozen water inside a hose can also damage the hose material. 
  • Indoors

    • Insulate exposed water pipes including those under sinks, in attics, crawl spaces or outside your house.
    • If you can, leave your heat set for 50-55 degrees; this does not replace winterizing your home.
    • Consider opening cabinet doors under sinks to let warmer indoor air circulate near the pipes.

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