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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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Historic and Cultural Landmarks Commission Special Meeting Work Session: 12:30 p.m. Dec. 18, 2017; City Hall, second floor, City Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Historic and Cultural Landmarks Commission Special Meeting Public Hearing: 2 p.m. Dec. 18, 2017; City Hall, second floor, City Council Chamber, 200 Texas Street.
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Canceled Fort Worth Transportation Authority Board of Directors Meeting: 3:33 p.m. Dec. 18, 2017; Intermodal Transportation Center, 1001 Jones Street.
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Task Force on Race and Culture: 5 p.m. Dec. 18, 2017; Oak Hall, Deborag Beggs Moncrief Garden Center, 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard.
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Notice of Public Hearing - 1215 Terminal Road: 5:30 p.m. Dec. 18, 2017; Library, M.H. Moore Elementary School, 1809 Northeast 36th Street.
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Fort Worth Housing Solutions Board of Commissioners Public Meeting: 5:30 p.m. Dec. 18, 2017; M.H. Moore Elementary School Library, 1809 Northeast 36th Street.
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Canceled City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. Dec. 19, 2017; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Human Relations Commission Special Called Meeting: 5:30 p.m. Dec. 19, 2017; Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods, Room 201 AB, 818 Missouri Avenue.
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Firefighters' and Police Officers' Civil Service Commission: 6 p.m. Dec. 19, 2017; Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex Auditorium, 505 West Felix Street.
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Canceled City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. Dec. 19, 2017; City Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Board of Adjustment Commercial Work Session: 9 a.m. Dec. 20, 2017; City Hall, second floor, City Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Board of Adjustment Commercial Public Hearing: 10 a.m. Dec. 20, 2017; City Hall, second floor, City Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Breakfast & Bingo at Southwest Community Center: 10 a.m. Dec. 20, 2017; Southwest Community Center, 6300 Welch Ave.

Board of Adjustment Residential Work Session: 12:30 p.m. Dec. 20, 2017; City Hall, second floor, City Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Board of Adjustment Residential Public Hearing: 1:30 p.m. Dec. 20, 2017; City Hall, second floor, City Council Chamber, 200 Texas Street.
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Collective Bargaining Negotiations between the City and the INternational Association of Fire Fighters, Local Union 440: 2 p.m. Dec. 20, 2017; IAFF Local 440 Office, 3855 Tulsa Way.
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Cookies and Milk with Santa at Diamond Hill Community Center: 4 p.m. Dec. 21, 2017; Diamond Hill Community Center, 1701 NE 36th St.

Christmas Party at Worth Heights Community Center: 4:30 p.m. Dec. 21, 2017; Worth Heights Community Center, 3551 New York Ave.

View the full city calendar.