Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Cold Weather Tips From Austin Water



For Immediate Release: February 10, 2021
Contact: Ginny Guerrero: geneva.guerrero@austintexas.gov, Media line: (512) 972-0499
 
Cold Weather Tips from Austin Water

AUSTIN—With freezing weather in the forecast, Austin Water is reminding residents to protect their property and prevent property damage and uncontrolled water loss due to frozen or broken water pipes by following the tips below:

Before Freezing Weather

  • Wrap all exposed pipes located outside or in unheated areas of the home.
  • Remove garden hoses from outside faucets.
  • Cover vents around the foundation of your home.
  • Know where your property owner's cut-off valve is located and how to use it. Apply oil such as WD-40 to the valve before operating to help prevent the valve from breaking. The valve should be located near or adjacent to the water meter box.

In Sub-Freezing Weather   

  • Drip outside faucets 24 hours a day (5 drops per minute). This is not necessary unless temperatures are expected to be 28 degrees or below for at least 4 hours. (Be sure to turn off the faucets after the threat of freezing weather.)
  • Open cabinet doors under sinks adjacent to outside walls.
  • In unheated garages, shut off water to washing machines. Water softeners should be drained and protected from freezing temperatures.
  • In sustained sub-freezing weather, let water drip slowly from inside faucets.
  • Take extra precautions to protect pipes that have frozen in the past.

If You Are Not Going To Be At Home

  • Shut water off at the property owner's cut-off valve.
  • Drain all outside water faucets if your house will be unoccupied for several days (leave outside faucets open).
  • Or, leave the home heating system on at a low setting.
  • Open cabinet doors under sinks adjacent to outside walls.

Renters and tenants may be responsible for personal property damage caused by broken water pipes during severe weather conditions. Residents should contact property management/landlord or maintenance personnel to locate the property owner's cut-off valve and find ways to avoid pipe breakage during a freeze.

Austin Water encourages all customers to turn off irrigation systems during the winter months to help conserve water. However, businesses that continue to operate landscape irrigation systems are asked to shut their systems off in order to prevent possible freezing of pedestrian areas and damage caused by freezing conditions.

If a water line breaks and the cut off valve does not work or the customer is unable to locate or operate the value, Austin Water is available to turn off the water. Call Austin Water's 24-Hour Emergency Hotline at 512-972-1000, Option 1. For more information, please visit austinwater.org.


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