Winter Weather Tips
Check out the tips below for information about protecting your pipes during winter weather.
Before it Freezes
- Wrap up any exposed outdoor pipes.
- Remove garden hoses from faucets and store. Insulate outdoor faucets with a Styrofoam cover (sold in stores) or a towel.
- Cover any vents around the foundation of your home.
- Winterize your irrigation system and backflow assembly, if applicable.
During Freezing Weather
- Open cabinet doors under sinks or pipes that are adjacent to outside walls.
- In sustained freezing weather conditions, it may be necessary to let water drip slowly from indoor faucets (5 drops per minute!) in order to let the water continue to flow.
- If you're planning to be out of town during freezing conditions, keep your home heating system on low, and proceed with the steps above.
If You Suspect Your Pipes Have Frozen
Always call a plumber if you suspect a serious issue or cannot identify which pipe is frozen.
- If no water comes out, a pipe may have burst. You will need to turn your water off as soon as possible! Call our Utility Services Division at 254-298-5611.
- If there is only a slight trickle, there may be some things you can do to safely defrost your pipes:
- Run water through the pipe for awhile. This may help clear any ice or blockage.
- DO NOT USE A BLOW TORCH OR ANYTHING WITH AN OPEN FLAME! This could cause serious damage to your pipe and waterline and could even start a fire.
- Apply gentle heat to the pipe using a warm towel. An electric hair dryer at a low heat temperature may also work.
Irrigation & Backflow Systems
- How to Winterize Sprinkler System
- Shut off the water supply to the irrigation system. The main shut-off valve for your irrigation system needs to be protected against freezing. Make sure it is wrapped with insulation (foam insulation tape and a plastic bag) to protect it from harsh winter temperatures and prevent it from freezing.
- Stay In Control
- If you have an automatic system then you will need to "shut down" the controller (timer). Most controllers have a "rain-mode" that simply shuts off the signals to the valves.
- Drain the Pipes
- Remove the water from the pipes and sprinklers so that it won't freeze/expand and break the pipe.
- Protect Valves and Backflow Preventers
- Insulate backflow preventers and valves if they are above ground. You can also use insulation tape for this. Be sure not to block the air vents and drain outlets on backflow preventers. Call a professional if you need assistance.