It’s unsettling when the power goes out in a home. Modern homes are more power-centric than ever, supporting just lights, appliances, electronic gadgets, and more. During the winter months, electrical outages can also wreak havoc on your plumbing system and appliances if outdoor temperatures drop below freezing, and the outage lasts long enough to allow the water in your pipes to freeze, making power outage even more aggravating. Homeowners can avoid dealing with water supply issues if the power goes out in their home with the following tips.
If the power goes out, you will need a link to the outside world to notify your electric company of the outage and receive updates as to when the power may return. Many people no longer have a land line phone and rely only on their cell phones. If this is the case, be sure to keep your phone in its charging unit when at home, so it will always be ready in case of an emergency. For those who encounter frequent outages, consider getting a battery backup unit to keep your phone charged as long as possible, or get a landline and install a phone that does not require electricity in order to function.
Keep Pipes from Freezing
If you’ve contacted your electric company, it looks like your power will be out for a while, and temperatures are going to dip below freezing, you may need to make arrangements to stay elsewhere until power returns. In cases like these before you leave the home, disconnect any hoses connected to outside spigots. On the inside of your home, leave doors open, including any doors underneath sink cabinetry to allow the warmer air to circulate around all the pipes. Allow a small trickle of water to flow from each faucet with the size of the flow slightly larger than the width of a pencil.
Of course, once the power is out it is too dangerous to climb any ladders in your home. That’s why an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you haven’t already done so, wrap your plumbing pipes in the basement or crawl space of your home with pipe insulation wrap or heat tape. This will help prevent them from freezing if your furnace can’t function. Also, know where your main water supply valve is and where it comes into your home. In the worst-case scenario where power will be out for an extended time period, you’ll want to shut off the water coming into your home and drain out all your faucets and any appliance that uses water, such as your water heater. Be sure to keep a good supply of batteries and flashlights on hand so you can maneuver through your home in the dark.
Power outages are surely frustrating, but combining that with burst pipes from freezing temperatures is a certain disastrous headache. For more tips on preventing burst water pipes, contact us today.