Preparing your water pipes for winter

MINOT, N.D. - Minot resident Terri Philion knows all too well the cost of an accidental broken water pipe.

Philion rents a condo next to one where a pipe burst in the freezing cold temperatures after the heat was shut off.

“Whether you're home or not, you've got to leave the heat on. I understand trying to save money, but you have to think about what it’s going to cost you in the long run by saving a couple dollars on the heat bill. You could end up with a really expensive clean up and personal property replacement cost," said Philion.

Preparing your pipes for winter starts before the temperature dips below freezing.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in this situation,” said Stuart Hammer, MFD fire inspector.

The Minot Fire Department says the first step in preventing your pipes from freezing is to know where they are in the first place.

“Do your best to locate the pipe. Kind of know where they're at ahead of time. Now we're in the middle of when this stuff can happen, it’s kind of difficult to get in there and start working on some of that. But know where they're at,” said Hammer.

Also, make sure your heat is always at least above 60 degrees, and keep faucets dripping so stagnant water doesn’t have a chance to freeze.

If your pipes are frozen, use a hair dryer to warm them back up. Never use direct flame.

Insulate the area around the pipes.

Keep these tips in mind to avoid a costly frozen pipe accident.

For more information and tips on keeping your water pipes protected, contact the City of Minot at 701-857-4727.