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Protect your home’s pipes from extreme cold

MADISON (WKOW) — Temperatures are going to be so cold this week you need to protect yourself and your home.

Credit: Madison Water Utility

Madison Water Utility posted this photo on Twitter to emphasize just how drastically a burst pipe can damage a home.

The photo is of damage at a vacant Madison home. It was taken several years ago and the heat had been turned off.

“They shut the heat off so then the water busted up in the top level, maybe a toilet or a bathtub and it obviously just kept leaking and leaking and leaking,” said Madison Water Utility Field Supervisor, Matt Grauvogl, about the photo.

Grauvogl says his crew is preparing for what could be record lows this week.


“This is historic, so guys are going to have to get warm,” Grauvogl said. “They need to go in the truck and take a few minutes to take a break.”

Madison Water Utility lists some simple steps to help keep pipes from freezing:

  • Double-check outdoor spigots to make sure all hoses are disconnected and the spigots are turned off and drained.
  • Insulate pipes in unheated areas like crawl spaces, unheated garages, and attics.
  • Leave some heat on in unused areas of your home.
  • If you go out of town for a few days, keep your thermostat on at least 55 degrees and open any cabinets where sink plumbing is against an outside wall.
  • If you’re leaving town for the winter, have your home and pipes professionally winterized.

Grauvogl is hoping people will take precautions so they don’t experience a burst pipe.

“I think people take for granted the water that they use, it’s used for everything, showering, cooking, brushing your teeth,” he said.

Grauvogl also wanted to remind people to clear their fire hydrants so firefighters have access to water in an emergency.

Amanda Hari

Reporter, WKOW

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