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200 S. Ivy St. - RM 177
Medford, OR 97501
Phone: 541-774-2436
Fax: 541-774-2555
Contact: Laura Hodnett, Public Information Coordinator
Email: wtrcom@ci.medford.. . .
Hours: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Medford Water Commission

Medford Water Commission - 541.774.2430
Winterizing your home and water pipes

While the topic of cold weather preparations is one we have addressed often, the expense and inconvenience that can result from frozen pipes is one we hope to help you avoid. While there are many winters during which we have no extreme cold spells, they do occur from time to time. Knowing how to prevent problems can therefore be important.

Following are tips to consider (for information about winterizing a sprinkler system, check this page):

Before the Cold Hits:
  • Locate your water shutoff valve now and confirm that it turns easily; dont wait until an emergency to find out. In our area, often the only shutoff is next to the water meter.
  • Insulate plumbing (hot water pipes too) in unheated areas such as crawl spaces, garages and outdoors.
  • Disconnect garden hoses in the fall before freezing temperatures arrive. Place insulation caps on hose bibs.
  • Cut cardboard or foam pieces that can temporarily be used to seal crawl space vents during very cold weather.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the thermostat set no lower than 55 degrees F.
  • Insulate any pool equipment that is exposed to the weather (especially the backflow assembly if you have an automatic fill-line)
During Freezing Weather:
  • Heat all rooms with plumbing fixtures, particularly those with plumbing on outside walls. Open cabinet doors under sinks to let heat in. If placing light bulbs in vulnerable areas, make sure they are not near combustibles.
  • Keeping a trickle of water running during extremely cold times can help prevent pipes from freezing. This is most effective with faucets that are farthest from the point where the main water line enters the house, or on outside walls.
  • Open the meter box during extreme cold only if necessary to turn water off. Close the lid as quickly as possible, as cold air can freeze the meter.  
  • Should a pipe freeze, never thaw it with an open flame. Use a hair dryer, heat lamps or space heaters.
  • If youre away, ask a friend or neighbor to check your house daily during cold spells and take these actions on your behalf.


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