Save your pipes: Tips to keep water flowing in cold weather

We may be in Texas, but we’re still vulnerable to destructive winter weather.  Here are tips to protect your water system from winter blasts.

Before a freeze:

  • Wrap all exposed pipes located outside or in unheated areas of your home.
  • Remove garden hoses from outside faucets.  Insulate the faucet with a Styrofoam cover, rags, disposable diaper or paper.
  • Cover vents around the foundation of your house.
  • Know where your property’s water cut-off valve is located and know how to use it.

In sub-freezing weather:

  • Let water drip slowly from inside faucets during a freeze.
  • Open cabinet doors under sinks where pipes are along outside walls.

If you’re not going to be home:

  • Cut off your water at the property’s cut-off valve and drain all outside water faucets if your house will be unoccupied for several days.
  • Or leave your home heating system on at a low setting.  That may cost a few bucks, but it’s better than returning home from your holiday trip to find your carpet and furniture soaked from burst pipes.

Renters should contact the manager or landlord for more information on freeze precautions.

Source: Wells Branch Word, December 2003

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