January 2024

As a valued customer, we at Ray Lusk Plumbing always want to be sure that you and your family are well taken care of. With the upcoming severe winter weather that will be moving into the region beginning this weekend, we wanted to offer some helpful advice and tips on how to protect your home and your plumbing.

Please take all precautions in order to help prevent any leaks or bursts. If you do encounter any issues, we have representatives standing by to take your call 24/7.

Need help? Our award-winning service technicians are just a phone call away.


  • Remove all water hoses from hydrants and spigots in your yard and on external walls of your home. Install Styrofoam weather covers on spigots/hydrants.
  • Wrap any exposed pipes with insulation. Insulate supply lines in unheated areas such as basements, attics, crawl spaces, or garages. Ensure that water heaters in unheated areas (tank-type and tankless) are properly insulated as well.
  • If you have outdoor sinks/showers/etc. make sure that these have been properly winterized and drained.
  • Drain sprinkler lines and remove sprinkler RPZs.
  • If you have a crawl space, close off the vents on the side of your house.
  • Keep garage door CLOSED, especially if your water heater or washing machine are located in the garage.


  • Keep your house warmer than usual to help protect interior plumbing.
  • Open all doors to cabinets that contain piping, ESPECIALLY if the plumbing runs through an exterior wall.
  • Remember to also relocate any cleaning products or other items that might be stored in these areas so that they are out of reach of children or pets!
  • Leave a small stream of water running on all sinks (approximately the width of pencil lead). Be sure to use a mix of both hot AND cold water.
  • Depending on the location of your washing machine, you may want to run a hot/cold cycle from time to time to help keep water moving through the pipes and drain lines.
  • Continue until outside temperature are consistently above 33°F.


Sometimes even the most prepared people will run into the annoying and frustrating problem of frozen pipes. Luckily, there are a few things you can look out for that will help you detect an issue before it becomes a plumbing nightmare!

image of a frozen outdoor water spigot
  • Little or no running water from faucets
  • Cracking or bulging pipes
  • Frost or condensation on pipes
  • Strange noises (whistling, banging, etc.) coming from pipes
  • Icicles forming on water heater condensate lines


  • Most importantly, educate yourself and know where the water main to your home is located and how to safely turn it off. If you encounter a leak or believe that your pipes have frozen or burst, shut off the water main supply immediately. This will help you avoid further leaks and water damage until a plumber can assist.
  • NEVER put direct heat on a frozen line as this can cause it to burst.
  • If you choose to use a space heater in an area to keep warm air circulating, be sure to take all necessary precautions to avoid accidents. This includes placing the heater in a safe, level area with nothing touching it. NEVER use a space heater in an enclosed space such as a cabinet or closet as this can cause a dangerous fire hazard.
  • If you have a tankless water heater (especially one located in an unheated area such as an attic or garage), take note of the pan under the unit. It will freeze and fill with ice and can cause a back-up in the condensate lines, which will then cause the tankless to shut down.

We’re here to help!

Even if you have never had a problem in the past, you should not assume that you are in the clear. Take precautions to be on the safe side.

If you have ever had a problem with frozen pipes in the past, you should assume that you will have problems again and take all necessary precautions.

We hope that this information will be helpful to you as you prepare yourselves and your homes for the incoming weather.

If you encounter any issues, please contact our offices for assistance. We have after-hours representatives ready to take your call day or night.

As always, thank you for trusting Ray Lusk Plumbing with your home and plumbing needs!

image of a frozen outdoor water spigot