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Security Basics

, Seasonal Security Tips

This Holiday Season, Keep Your Pipes Protected! | 2022

Posted December 1, 2021 by Cove

Christmas Season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Presents, hot chocolate, and time with family are a recipe for a relaxing holiday season. But as the temperature begins to drop outside, the risk of burst pipes and leaks begins to increase. There are several things you can do to protect your home from indoor flooding, and we’ll discuss those below.

Do you remember winter of 2021, when many families in Texas lost power for several days during a winter storm? Not only were these families struggling with the lack of power, but burst pipes became a problem statewide. Since in Texas, pipes were mostly designed to protect against the heat, the cold snap really took a toll on many pipes.

Holiday Season

Why Do Pipes Burst When It Gets Cold Outside?

Cold weather can lead to more than snowy roads and power outages. Sometimes, it can actually cause burst pipes. How? Well, when water freezes, it expands. Usually, water in the sewer pipes does not freeze, because flowing water is harder to freeze, and outdoor sewers are almost constantly flowing. But blockages can still occur, and once the water makes it into your home plumbing, it’s not always flowing (Incidentally, this is why it’s best to let the water on your sink faucet run for a couple of seconds before drinking it. Otherwise, you might taste a bit of that stagnant water flavor).

Usually, it won’t be a problem that your water doesn’t flow as much inside your home, because homes tend to be temperature-regulated and have insulation in the walls. But let’s say you’re out of town on a big vacation and your furnace breaks down while you’re away. Ice may begin to build up in your pipes, and your water main (the pipe that leads from the public plumbing system into your home) will still continue to send water into your home’s plumbing system. As ice builds up around pipe joints and pressure from the water main continues to build, your pipes may burst.

Tips for Preventing Burst Pipes

There are a few things you can do to prevent burst pipes in your home during the winter. Taking the necessary precautions can save you thousands of dollars in flood damage!

  • Turn off your water before leaving on vacation. Shutting off the water is something very few people think to do before leaving. But it can make a huge difference in preventing home flooding. The water shutoff valve is usually located near your water meter in your basement or a utility closet. Turn the valve clockwise to shut it off.
  • Make sure your thermostat is set to at least 55-60 degrees when you leave on vacation. You don’t want your home temperature to dip below freezing.
  • Install flood sensors underneath your exposed pipes and near water-using appliances like toilets, dishwashers, and washing machines.
Minimalist Bathroom

Stopping Other Holiday Household Floods

If you’re not traveling for the holidays, freezing pipes are probably less of a concern for you. But that doesn’t mean that your home is immune to flooding. Other water leaks can work much more slowly and still cause substantial damage to your home. Pinhole leaks within your walls can cause swelling and mold. Joint links can leak water in places around sinks and toilets. And if you have children visiting your home for the holidays, there is the ever-present possibility that someone may forget to shut off a faucet or may clog the toilet.

No matter how a flood starts, catching it early is crucial to minimize damage. Having a flood sensor installed underneath the toilet and sink can catch leaks before they become problematic.

Cove Protection This Holiday Season

How Cove’s Flood Sensor Works

Installing a flood sensor can be a great way to catch potential leaks and burst pipes early. Cove’s Flood Sensor has a variety of capabilities, all of which are important in leak prevention. To set up the sensor, you’ll just trigger it while walking through the Cove security system setup process, and then place it on the floor in the area you’re hoping to monitor. Please note that when the flood sensor is triggered, the authorities will not be notified to come to your home. We will simply send you a notification letting you know that the flood sensor has gone off. You or a friend will need to shut off the water as quickly as possible.

There are three important functions that Cove’s Flood Sensor uses:

  1. Water Detection: Even small amounts of moisture will cause the sensor to trigger.
  2. Freeze Detection: When the temperature in your home approaches freezing (in the low 40s) we’ll alert you.
  3. Self Testing: Every 60 minutes, the sensor will test the strength of its connection to the panel. If your sensor battery is low, or the sensor malfunctions, you’ll know right away.

Cove doesn't just protect your home from leaks and floods, though. Order a customized security system today to get around-the-clock protection from burglaries, medical emergencies, fires, and more!

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