Home > News

Protect your pipes against freezing temperatures

Posted Oct. 31, 2019

North Texas can be a wild place when it comes to winter weather. Blizzards, subfreezing temperatures, (black) ice and snow — we can experience it all, and occasionally all on the same day.

Daytime forecasts for the next few weeks include upper 60s, even 70s; however, nighttime temperatures are getting closer to the freezing point. This means you need to make sure your loved ones are cozy and warm and that your home is well taken care of, as well.

Most North Texans know to insulate outdoor faucets and, in the case of a prolonged freezing snap, leave inside faucets on external walls dripping just a little to avoid freezing. If you are leaving town for a few days, the Fort Worth Water Department recommends leaving cabinet doors open so that water pipes on external walls are exposed to the heat. If you have pipes in an attic or crawlspace or any other exposed pipes outdoors, then they too need to be insulated.

It is also important to disconnect external faucets and insulate the valves.

More helpful tips:

  • Make sure all outside pipes are insulated. Most hardware stores sell inexpensive foam covers that do the job just right.
  • 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. If you are missing the lid to your meter box, call the Water Department.
  • 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. It is best to call 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.
  • When going out of town, 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.
  • 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. Do not use email or social media to report main breaks as these are not constantly monitored, and this could cause a delayed response.

Get articles like this in your inbox. Subscribe to City News.

City News

Calendar

Library to host free Orchestra concert: 2 p.m. Feb. 23, 2020; Fort Worth Public Library, 500 W. 3rd Street.

Building Standards Commission Pre-Meeting: 9 a.m. Feb. 24, 2020; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
View the agenda »

Building Standards Commission Meeting: 9:30 a.m. Feb. 24, 2020; City Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
View the agenda »

Trinity Metro Board of Directors Meeting: 3:30 p.m. Feb. 24, 2020; Fort Worth Central Station, Downtown Fort Worth, 2nd Floor Community Room, 1001 Jones St.
View the agenda »

Altamesa Boulevard Sidewalks Project Meeting: 6 p.m. Feb. 24, 2020; Southwest Community Center, 6300 Welch Ave.

Canceled Disciplinary Appeal of Two-Day Suspension of Timothy Fornash: 9 a.m. Feb. 25, 2020; Fort Worth Botanic Gardens, Camellia Room, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd.
View the agenda »

Meet and Confer Negotiations between the City of Fort Worth and Fort Worth Police Officers Association: 2 p.m. Feb. 25, 2020; Bob Boen Public Safety Complex, Police Training Classroom No. 1135, 505 W Felix St.
View the agenda »

Canceled City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. Feb. 25, 2020; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.

Donnelly Avenue & Sanguinet Street Sidewalks Project Meeting: 6 p.m. Feb. 25, 2020; Amon Carter Center at Lena Pope, 3200 Sanguinet St.

Canceled City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. Feb. 25, 2020; City Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.

Warrant Forgiveness: 9 a.m. Feb. 26, 2020; Boys & Girls Club, 3123 Avenue G..

Fort Worth Sports Authority, Inc. Board Meeting: 10 a.m. Feb. 26, 2020; Fort Worth Convention Center, Executive Board Room, 1201 Houston St.
View the agenda »

Metropolitan Area EMS Authority DBA MedStar Mobile Healthcare Board of Directors: 10 a.m. Feb. 26, 2020; MedStar Mobile Healthcare, 2900 Alta Mere Drive.
View the agenda »

City Plan Commission Work Session: noon Feb. 26, 2020; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
View the agenda »

City Plan Commission Public Hearing: 1:30 p.m. Feb. 26, 2020; City Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
View the agenda »

Park and Recreation Advisory Board Work Session: 3 p.m. Feb. 26, 2020; Deborah Beggs Moncrief Garden Center, Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Ganden Blvd.
View the agenda »

Park and Recreation Advisory Board Meeting: 4 p.m. Feb. 26, 2020; Deborah Beggs Moncrief Garden Center, Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd.
View the agenda »

Beach & Basswood Intersection Improvements Project Meeting: 6 p.m. Feb. 26, 2020; Summerglen Library, 4205 Basswood Blvd.

Warrant Forgiveness : 9 a.m. Feb. 27, 2020; Como Community Center, 4660 Horne St.

The Regional Transportation Council Meeting: 10 a.m. Feb. 27, 2020; The Transportation Council Room, 1st Floor, North Central Texas Council of Governments, 616 Six Flags Drive, Arlington, TX 76011.
View the agenda »

Marine Creek Ranch Park Project Meeting: 6 p.m. Feb. 27, 2020; Parkview Elementary School, 6225 Crystal Lake Drive.

Deferred Compensation Oversight Committee: 9 a.m. Feb. 28, 2020; Fort Worth Credit Union Board Room, 2309 Montgomery St.
View the agenda »

View the full city calendar and current meetings.