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Prepare pipes for freezing temperatures

Posted Dec. 7, 2017

image of a frozen pipe

With winter weather forecast, residents and businesses should take steps to keep water pipes from freezing and possibly bursting. These tips can help:

  • Make sure all outside pipes are insulated.
  • Check to see that 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 it from freezing.
  • Turn off or unplug your irrigation system during the winter to prevent ice on sidewalks or streets. Drain the lines to prevent them from freezing and bursting. Use a licensed irrigator if you cannot do this yourself.
  • Commercial buildings with fire sprinklers should leave the heat on overnight and on weekends when subfreezing temperatures are forecast.
  • For residences, 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.
  • If you must leave your house vacant for a long period, turn off your water supply at the gate valve on the resident’s side of the meter box and have a plumber do the necessary work to prepare pipes to prevent damage.
  • During prolonged freezes, you may want to open all cabinet doors that contain water pipes to allow heat to enter. Relocate any toxic materials so children and pets cannot get to them if cabinet doors are left open.
  • Keep extra water drawn up during freezing weather in case a main break or frozen pipe cuts off your water supply.

If you have no water and think 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 you suspect 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 are not constantly monitored, and this could cause a delayed response.

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Notice of Public Hearing - Northwest Community Park: 7 p.m. Dec. 12, 2017; Council Chambers, 2nd Floor City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. Dec. 12, 2017; City Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Workforce Solutions Board of Directors: 9 a.m. Dec. 13, 2017; The Amon Carter Center at Lena Pope, 3200 Sanguinet.
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Metropolitan Area EMS Authority Board: 10 a.m. Dec. 13, 2017; Medstar, 2900 Alta Mere Drive.
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Preventing Sexual Harrassment: 11:30 a.m. Dec. 13, 2017; James E. Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus, Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.
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Zoning Commission Work Session: 11:30 a.m. Dec. 13, 2017; City Hall, second floor, City Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Zoning Commission Public Hearing: 1 p.m. Dec. 13, 2017; City Hall, second floor, Council Chamber, 200 Texas Street.
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Fort Worth Water Department Wholesale Water and Wastewater Advisory Committee Meeting: 2:30 p.m. Dec. 13, 2017; Fort Worth Botanic Gardens, Oak Hall, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd.
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Park and Recreation Advisory Board: 4 p.m. Dec. 13, 2017; Deborah Beggs Moncrief Garden Center, Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard.
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Mayor's Committee on Persons with Disabilities: 10 a.m. Dec. 14, 2017; Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods, Room 201 AB, 818 Missouri Avenue.
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Fort Worth Housing Solutions Board: 11 a.m. Dec. 14, 2017; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Brunch with Santa at MLK Jr. Community Center: 11 a.m. Dec. 14, 2017; Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, 5565 Truman Drive.

Quadco Management Solutions, Inc.: 11 a.m. Dec. 14, 2017; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th.
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Fort Worth Affordability Inc.: 11 a.m. Dec. 14, 2017; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Eastwood Public Facility Corporation: 11 a.m. Dec. 14, 2017; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 15th Street.
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Ironwood Crossing Public Facility Corporation: 11 a.m. Dec. 14, 2017; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Point(less) Pitches and Presentations: 11:30 a.m. Dec. 14, 2017; James E. Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus, Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.
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Community Action Partners Council: 12:30 p.m. Dec. 14, 2017; Fort Worth Botanic Garden Orchid Room, 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard.
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Regional Transportation Council: 1 p.m. Dec. 14, 2017; North Central Texas Council of Governments, Transportation Council Room (1st Floor), 616 Six Flags Drive, Arlington, TX.
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Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Commission: 6 p.m. Dec. 14, 2017; Tarrant Regional Water District, Conference Room, 800 E Northside Drive.
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Winter Wonderland at Como Community Center: 6:30 p.m. Dec. 14, 2017; Como Community Center, 4900 Horne St.

Christmas Party at Como Community Center: 6:30 p.m. Dec. 14, 2017; Como Community Center, 4900 Horne St.

Notice of Public Meeting - Municipal Setting Designation for 2417 East Long Avenue: 6:30 p.m. Dec. 14, 2017; Diamond Hill Community Center, 1701 NE 36th Street.
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Minority and Women Business Enterprise Advisory Committee: 11:30 a.m. Dec. 15, 2017; James E. Guinn Building, 1st Floor, PharmaFab Conference Room 116, 1150 South Freeway.
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City Plan Commission Work Session: noon Dec. 15, 2017; City Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street, 2nd Floor.
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City Plan Commission: 1:30 p.m. Dec. 15, 2017; City Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street, 2nd Floor.
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Cookies with Santa at Andrew Doc Session Community Center: 5:30 p.m. Dec. 15, 2017; Andrew Doc Session Community Center, 201 S. Sylvania Ave .

Christmas Gala at Southside Community Center: 6 p.m. Dec. 15, 2017; Southside Community Center, 959 E. Rosedale St.

Holiday Shop 'N Drop at Hillside Community Center: 8 a.m. Dec. 16, 2017; Hillside Community Center, 1201 E. Maddox Ave.

View the full city calendar.