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Posted on: October 27, 2020

15 Minutes of Prevention is Worth $10,000-$15,000

According to the Insurance Information Institute, Inc. water damage and freezing was the second largest share of insurance claims (between 2014-2018) at an average cost of $10,849[i] while State Farm puts the number at about $15,000[ii]. Add to that, 62% of those homeowners were still coping with the fallout a year later[iii]. The City of Big Bear Lake Department of Water can attest to the damage done when homeowners forget to winterize their mountain homes. 

The most important thing to know is turn off your stop and waste drain valve and turn off your irrigation. Complete details on winterization and a printable brochure can be found at

More tips


  • Turn off your stop and waste drain valve
    1. Your stop and waste drain must be turned 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.
    2. Turning off the water at the meter is illegal, dangerous, and doesn’t drain the water from your home.
    3. Mark your stop and waste drain valve with a tall stake so that you can find it in the snow.


  • Shut off and drain all outdoor irrigation no later than November 1st  
    1. Local regulations require outdoor irrigation winterization November 1 through April 1. 
    2. 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. 


  • 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.

Last but not least, “Don’t Let Frosty Down.” Inside the DWP meter box is a white foam pad known as a frost mat, or “Frosty,” that protects your meter from freezing. Like foam on coffee, it should always stay on top. If you’ve had work done and your frosty isn’t on top and level, give him a good tug up. Visit for a video on how to fix him, or call (909)866-5050 if you need assistance.

Want more information on protecting your home this winter season? Contact the BBLDWP at (909) 866-5050 or visit Friend us on Facebook or find us on Twitter at bigbearwater.





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