Winterize Your Pipes24-hour Customer Service 817-FW-24-HRS (817) 392-4477
Know how to protect your pipes before cold weather strikes. When temperatures drop below freezing, pipes may be vulnerable to damage if they are not protected from extreme cold.
There are several precautions you can take to protect your pipes. The following tips can help.
- Wrap: Make sure all pipes outside the house are wrapped.
- Insulate: Check to see that pipes in unheated parts of your home (including crawl and attic spaces) are insulated.
- Secure: Check to be sure outside faucet washers are secure.
- Cover: Keep the lid on the meter box so your meter won’t freeze.
- Know Location of Shut-off Valves: 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.
- Turn Off: If you must leave your house vacant for a long period of time, 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.
- Heat: During prolonged freezes, you may want to open all cabinet doors that contain water pipes to allow heat to enter them. You may want to place a lamp in the cabinets so the bulb can keep the area warm, but be certain no flammable materials are near it.
- Keep Extra Water Supply: 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 a pipe may be frozen, follow the steps listed below.
- Call the Water Department’s 24-hour Customer Service at 817-FW-24-HRS (817-392-4477) so a representative can check to see if your meter is frozen.
- If the meter is not frozen, the private plumbing is probably frozen at the point where the pipe goes under the house. Check there first.
- If a pipe is frozen, it is safest to call a plumber to handle the problem. The pipe may be cracked and will burst when thawed. If an electrical appliance is used to heat the pipe, spraying water from a burst pipe could get onto it, creating the risk of electrocution.
- If you decide to thaw the pipe yourself, apply heat slowly with a light bulb, a hair dryer set on low, exhaust from a vacuum cleaner or heat tape. Use your hands to find the coldest point on the pipe, which is usually where the ice is. Keep the heat moving in that general area, but never concentrate heat on one spot.
- If someone suspects a water main is broken, immediately contact the Water Department’s 24-hour Customer Service at 817-FW-24-HRS (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.