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How Do I Conserve Water During the Winter?

Winter is coming, bringing with it potential plumbing problems. Often people only consider water conservation in the summer, but there are several things you can do to save water in the winter, too. Check out these winter water conservation tips:

  1. In extreme weather, let your faucets drip overnight or when you are not home. This seems like a waste of water, but it will actually help prevent your pipes from bursting. A pipe burst will waste much more water.

  2. Open cabinet doors under sinks to allow warm air to circulate around pipes against outside walls.

  3. Insulate your outdoor pipes to prevent the pipes from freezing, and possibly bursting. Disconnect hoses and shut off water to outside spigots.

  4. Collect water in buckets to flush your toilets or water your plants. You can catch water from the dripping faucets mentioned above.

  5. Check for leaks after any thaws. A change in temperature can cause pipes to expand and contract, which may lead to more leaks.

  6. If a pipe bursts, cut off the water supply as soon as possible. Make sure you know exactly where your shut-off valve is located so that when an emergency strikes you can quickly save hundreds of gallons of water.

  7. Consider installing low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators to reduce water usage.

  8. Always be on the lookout for leaks around your appliances. Regularly check hoses to your dishwasher, ice maker and washing machine. Replace any that are bulging or show signs of wear.

  9. Install a water monitoring system. These read the water meter and allow you to assess your water consumption down to the hour. They also give you leak alerts, which can be a great help in preventing pipe bursts.

  10. Lower the temperature on your water heater as it works harder during the winter months.

Water conservation is a year-round job. Prepare your home for cold temperatures so all you have to worry about is your holiday party guest list. If you have any concerns about the condition of your plumbing systems, consult a professional by calling 1-800-768-6911.

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