Preparation for Winter Weather
(Instructions to Help Protect Pipes from Bursting In Freezing Temperatures)
Last year we had a number of water pipes break which caused extensive damage in some units. It is imperative that Homeowners take the following simple but important precautions to help reduce this from happening and to minimize water damage resulting from a pipe break:
- Know where the water cut-off box is for your building. It is imperative that you know how to cut off the water to the building in the event a pipe bursts. If roads freeze emergency services may not be able to reach you. In addition, plumbers are overwhelmed with emergency calls during freezes and may not be able to get to you in a timely manner.
The water cutoff is located in a rectangular box in the ground in the front center of each building. [There is a blue reflector on the building approximately 2 ft. above the general area where the cut-off box is located.]
Open the lid and turn the handle counterclockwise to shut off the water.
Please note: Sometimes the fire department can help if an emergency shut off is necessary. If the Association has to get involved in water shut off the plumber’s charge will be billed to the unit.
- Keep faucets dripping when temperatures drop below 30 degrees (in the mid to high 20’s)to help prevent the pipes from freezing. Faucets can be turned off once the temperature goes back above freezing.
- Make sure that your heat is set to a minimum of 68-70 degrees (recommended range).
It is very important that you keep your heat set at a higher than normal temperature on days when the outside temperature is below freezing in order to heat the wall cavity and help prevent your pipes from bursting.
- Get contact information from the surrounding units in case you need to contact your neighbor regarding leaks. This is a homeowner to homeowner responsibility.
- Open cabinet doors under the sink(s) if you have a kitchen or bathrooms on outside walls to allow for circulation of warm air.
Lower end units (all addresses ending with a “1” or a “7”) in each building are especially susceptible to having frozen and broken pipes during extremely cold weather. If you live in one of these units it is important that you take the following steps to help protect pipes from freezing and incurring water damage inside your condo before the weather gets frigid
Location of the shut-off valves inside lower end units
In the lower end units there are shut-off valves located inside the units that control the outside water faucets (on the outside of the building walls or on the wall within the trash area). The shut-off valves are located in one
of two locations:
- Inside the bathroom cabinets under the sink or,
- inside the bedroom closet in the master bedroom.
Directions for valve shut-off in the winter
Two simple and quick steps are required:
- First, turn the handle of the valve inside the condo clockwise all the way until it is completely tight. This shuts off the water to the outside faucet.
- Second, go to the outside faucet located within or just outside the trash corral enclosure and open the valve completely by turning the handle counter clockwise until the faucet is fully open. This will allow the pipe to drain completely of water and will help prevent the pipes from freezing and busting. Leave the faucet in this open position during the winter.
- Wrap the outside faucet with a towel and leave it on the faucet throughout the winter
Directions for valve turn-on in the spring
In the spring time just reverse this process – Turn on the shutoff valve inside the condo (turn the valve counter clockwise) and then go outside and close the faucet on the exterior of the condo by turning the handle clockwise. The outside faucet can now be used if needed.
Call Sharper Image Management at (770) 973-5923 if you have any questions regarding these procedures.