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Many SISC member districts annually experience water damage during the winter because of freezing conditions. Please disseminate this bulletin to the appropriate person(s) in your district so action can be taken to prevent such damage.
When the temperature falls below 30∞F, especially if it falls below 30∞F for several days in a row, the following recommendations will help reduce water damage losses. Additionally, it would be prudent for you to have a designated person check buildings for water damage after a weekend, a holiday, when a facility is closed for other reasons, or when your geographic area experiences consecutive nights of below 30∞F temperature.
1. OUTSIDE AREAS
Large Plumbing Areas – Examples of large plumbing areas that may be exposed are water mains, water pumps, and landscape sprinkler controls. These systems can either be drained or they can be boxed/framed and filled with sawdust or a noncompacted insulation.
Drinking Fountains – Long pipe runs should be wrapped in foam insulation. Valves should be wrapped with insulated wrapping tape.
Evaporative Coolers – Water to the cooler should be shut off, and the cooler should be drained.
Exterior Fire Sprinkler Systems – An antifreeze system should be installed in the external fire sprinklers.
2. INSIDE AREAS
Walls of Older Buildings – Many times the water pipes are located in the walls but the walls have never been insulated. You can either keep the heat on at a reduced temperature, but high enough to keep the pipes from freezing, or leave the water dripping at the end of the run. This will also help protect uninsulated pipes located in the attic.
Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes
Insulate all exposed pipes
Set heat no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit
Open cabinet doors under sinks
Disconnect garden hoses
If you have any questions involving this concern, please contact your Safety and Loss Control Specialist.