20 Aug 2014
70° Mostly Cloudy
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You Think It’s Cold Now, Loudoun? Just Wait

Tips to keep the pipes from freezing

You Think It’s Cold Now, Loudoun? Just Wait

If the recent cold, wet, windy weather is getting you down, stop reading this now. The next couple of days are expected to be even colder, with a chance of more precipitation.


In Loudoun, freezing rain fell Sunday morning and temperatures hovered around 32 degrees. But forecasts are calling for even colder weather, with temperatures dipping close to zero late Monday and early Tuesday. The area might not break the freezing mark until Thursday.

So be prepared for the precipitation that has fallen to stick around and stay warm.

The Town of Leesburg’s Department of Utilities offered the following tips to prevent frozen house pipes:

  • Be sure pipes in unheated parts of your home, including crawl spaces, are insulated. Foam insulation for water pipes can be found at any home improvement or hardware store. The foam is typically split down the middle so it can be easily wrapped around the exposed pipes.
  • Remove hoses from outside faucets and be sure they are drained and shut off.
  • Advise all household members where the main shut-off valve is located in case of an emergency.
  • If you will be away from home for an extended time, shut off the water supply and drain the system. 

During an extended cold period, follow these recommendations:

  • Open the cabinets beneath any place with a water supply, such as the kitchen and bathroom sinks. This will allow warm air to circulate. (Move all cleaning supplies that could be accessible to children and pets.)
  • To prevent your pipes from freezing, keep a trickle of water running from the faucet highest in the house. This trickle should be a steady stream the size of the lead in a pencil.
  • If your pipes freeze, never thaw a pipe with an open flame or a space heater.  A hair dryer can be used if there is no standing water in the area. 

If there is no water throughout your household and you have determined that it is not a frozen line within the home, your water meter may be frozen.  Please contact Department of Utilities at 703-771-2750 (8:30 am – 5:00 pm) or the After Hours Police non-emergency number at 703-771-4500

By following these simple winterization tips, you may prevent broken water pipes and costly plumbing repairs. 

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