“Winterize your home now, before the freezing temperatures cause pipe leaks or bursts,” authority spokesman Chris Wood said in a statement.
“It’s not too late for property owners to winterize their home or office. In doing so, local residents can prevent potential water leaks or line breaks as a result of freezing temperatures, which have been more frequent and intense since the New Year.”
Officials from the authority are encouraging utility customers to consider preventive maintenance on water lines, sprinkler or irrigation systems and any other water-use devices, which may be susceptible to freezing temperatures this winter.
“As a result, citizens can save time and money through continued wise water use, or in this case, prevention of water loss through pipe bursts and water leaks that may not show up until spring,” Wood said.
According to authority officials and sources from the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service and others, residents and business owners can prevent exposed valves, pipes, irrigation systems, or other water products from freezing if they consider these tips:
-Insulate pipes, either with wraps or tapes, making sure to locate all pipes that pass through unheated spaces or areas exposed to the outdoors.
-Consider adding or supplementing insulation to water heaters.
-Drain irrigation systems, since the tips of sprinkler heads and portions of sprinkler systems often continue to hold water, even when inactive.
-Disconnect garden hoses from all outdoor water faucets, allowing water to drain completely, and store them in a place with consistent, warmer temperatures.
-If a faucet is not frost-free, find the shut-off valve where the pipe feeds the faucet outside of the home or building and turn it off, prior to opening the outside faucet until it drains completely.
-Winterize air conditioning units as well, by draining all air conditioner pipes and hoses.
-Remove window air conditioning units and insulate those areas accordingly.
-Clean gutters, so winter rains and melting snow can drain.
-When leaving the home or office for an extended period of time, turn the temperature down to 55 degrees F – rather than turning the heat completely off – to prevent problems from freezing temperatures.
-Should a pipe burst due to freezing or under any other circumstances, always know how to shut off the main water line servicing the home or office building.
These and additional winterization tips can be found online at: http://www.thedailygreen.com, http://realestate.msn.com, and http://homebuying.about.com, in addition to the UGA Cooperative Extension Service.
For more information on winterization tips, contact the authority at (770) 957-6659, or log onto the authority website at www.hcwsa.com.