How to insulate outdoor pipes, sprinklers ahead of hard freeze

By Mario Diaz - Reporter

HOUSTON - Justin Bielamowicz does not pull any punches when it comes to what is in store in the coming days,:“It’s going to a pretty bad one as far as what the forecast says.”

Bielamowicz, the owner of JB Irrigation, has one message for property owners in the coming days. “Any outside or outdoor plumbing piping needs to be insulated,” he said.

As for those who haven’t prepared?

Bielamowicz offered up a candid assessment. 

“The people that haven’t prepared," he said. "They may be in for a rude awakening after the pipes may thaw tomorrow.”

That means the second day of the year may be filled with water shooting into the air out of a homeowner's sprinkler system.

Bielamowicz said the key is to make sure the backflow preventer is insulated properly. 

“It doesn't take long to do, but if you don’t cover it and it does break, you are looking at an expensive repair to do,” he said. 

Bielamowicz said the average repair cost is roughly $300.

Now while Bielamowicz is a professional who stresses any kind of insulation, he does offer a homemade remedy of tightly wrapping towels or even newspapers around a unit with a plastic bag protecting it. 

As far as how long to keep it on?

“I would keep it on at least for the entire week,” Bielamowicz said.

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