Power outages can mean that your plumbing system will be exposed to freezing temperatures which then damages your pipes. Here are some tips from the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension for protecting pipes:
- Drain pipes of hot water heating systems through disconnecting pipes. Open the vents on radiators to release air so pipes can drain.
- Add Anti-freeze to heating systems. Make sure the house water system and the boiler water system are not connected. Use only antifreeze containing ethylene glycol. Do not use antifreeze containing methanol. (Methanol vaporizes readily when heated and could cause excessive pressure in the system.)
- Shut off the water at the main valve or turn off the well pump if it is in the house.
- Drain the pressure tank.
- Open all faucets until they drain completely. Some valves will open only when there is water pressure. If so, remove the valve from the faucet.
- Drain the entire system by disconnecting pipe unions or joints as close to the main valve as possible. You may use compressed air to blow water from pipes.
- Insulate pipes that can’t be drained around their main valves. Use blankets, housing insulation or newspapers.
- Drain toilet flush tanks and spray hoses. 7. Disconnect the water from softening unit so water can drain from the hard and soft water pipes and from the controls. Lay the softener tank on its side to drain as much water as possible. Also drain controls and tubing on brine (salt) tanks. A brine tank itself will not be harmed by freezing.