Prepare your pipes for freezing temperatures

Published on February 09, 2021

a person opens a cupboard under a sink

With a hard a freeze anticipated later this week and next week, residents and businesses should take steps to keep their water pipes from freezing and possibly bursting. These tips can help:

  • Make sure all outside pipes and faucets are insulated.
  • Make sure pipes in unheated parts of your home or business (including crawl and attic spaces, under cabinets) are insulated.
  • Make sure outside faucet washers are secure.
  • Keep the lid on the meter box to better insulate the meter from freezing.
  • Turn off your irrigation system to prevent ice on sidewalks or streets.
  • Commercial buildings with fire sprinklers should leave the heat on overnight and on weekends when subfreezing temperatures are forecast.
  • Make sure everyone in the household knows where the main water shut-off valve is in case a pipe breaks and it is necessary to turn the water off in a hurry. Check this valve now to make sure it is working. (All homes are required by the plumbing code to have a shutoff valve that is not in the meter box.)
  • During prolonged freezes, consider opening all cabinet doors that contain water pipes to allow heat to enter them. Relocate any toxic materials so they are out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Keep extra water drawn up during freezing weather in case a main break or frozen pipe cuts off your water supply.

If a resident has no water and thinks it may be because of a frozen pipe, it is safest to call a plumber to handle the problem. The pipe may be cracked and will burst when thawed. Using an electrical appliance to heat the pipe could cause the pipe to burst, creating the risk of electrocution.

If someone suspects a water main is broken, report the location immediately by calling 817-392-4477 so it can be repaired as soon as possible. Signs of a broken water main are water running down the street and buckled pavement. Don’t assume your neighbor called and do not use email or social media to report main breaks. These communication channels are not constantly monitored, and this could cause a delayed response.