The three primary causes of frozen pipes are quick drops in temperature, poor insulation and thermostats set too low. We’ve seen these claims from associations as far south as Florida. Frozen pipes can occur in any region and are a potential threat to your association. The costs of repairing the piping and water-damage aren’t the only setbacks that your association could face. Several associations have had to close part of their facilities as a result of frozen pipes that burst. There are multiple things that you can do immediately to prevent the cold weather from freezing your pipes.
First, it’s important to locate the main water supply shutoff and identify it with a sign in case of an emergency. Next, address the following areas:
Monitor building temperature via supervisory devices that are transmitted to a 24-hour monitoring location. This is especially important in unheated locations of the building.
If you do not have a monitoring device, staff may walk through the building if the facility is closed for more than 12 hours (e.g. long weekends). Thermometers can be placed throughout the facility to help staff check that the temperature is above 40°.
If automatic sprinkler piping passes through an unheated building, ask your servicing company to inspect it before winter. If necessary, they may isolate the portions at risk or install frost-free heads.
Maintain 40° F in all indoor areas of the building to prevent freezing. If the temperature drops below this level, the following measures can be taken:
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, your pipes might still freeze. Don’t stress, just because the pipes are frozen does not mean they have already burst or will burst in the future. To be safe here’s what you can do:
If your pipes have already burst, turn off water at the main shutoff valve to the building.
Please call us at 800-463-8546 to discuss this or any other risk management safety tip, or visit our web site at www.redwoodsgroup.com to learn more about YMCA risk management issues.