Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Prepare and Protect Your Home as Freezing Weather Approaches

Austin Water has taken steps to prepare for winter weather, and with freezing temperatures expected in this week’s forecast, 

we are reminding customers to take steps now to prepare as well. 

The following is suggested to protect property and water pipes during freezing temperatures.

Store Emergency Water Supply for your Household

Secure one gallon of water per person for a seven day supply. You can fill pitchers and containers with tap water or purchase bottled water.
Prepare for Freezing Weather

  1. Locate Your Water Shutoff. Find your water main shutoff valve and keep it clear of debris and obstacles at all times. 

    For most homes in our service area, the property owner’s shutoff valve is on your side of the water meter at the meter box. If you cannot find your shutoff valve or if it is damaged, then you should be prepared to access the City shutoff valve in the meter box. You may need a water meter key to open the meter box, which can be purchased at most hardware stores.
  2. Keep Out Cold Air. Tightly close doors and windows to the outside. Make repairs to broken or drafty windows, doors, and walls. Seal all leaks in crawl spaces and basements. Winterize unheated spaces and close garage doors for the duration of the freeze.
  3. Exposed Pipes and Water Heaters. Insulate pipes in unheated and drafty areas, such as an attic or garage. Also check manufacturer recommendations for your tanked and tankless water heaters. Hardware and plumbing supply stores carry insulation to help keep pipes from freezing.
  4. Outside Faucets. Turn off outside faucets. Remove all connected hoses and wrap faucets with towels or a Styrofoam insulator. Turn off and drain automatic sprinkler systems.
  5. Prepare Before Leaving Town. If you plan to be away during a time when freezing temperatures are possible, turn off your water at the meter and set your thermostat to 65 degrees or higher.
During Freezing Weather

When temperatures drop below freezing, follow these tips to protect your property and help avoid damage.
  1. Protect Indoor Faucets. Open cabinets beneath kitchen and bathroom sinks to allow warmer air to circulate around pipes. Be sure to remove any toxic substances located in these cabinets if there are children or pets living in the residence.
  2. Drip Only if Needed. After the measures above are taken, drip one cold-water faucet slowly if you feel your pipes may still freeze. The faucet you choose should be the one that is the greatest distance from your main shutoff valve. It does not need to be a running trickle. If you do drip your faucet, capture the water for future use.
  3. Power Outages. If you experience a power outage for more than 24 hours, stop dripping your faucets and turn off your water at the meter.

More Information

Austin Water will monitor conditions to provide updated guidance for customers. Bookmark and follow the latest news at
For more information about the steps Austin Water has taken for the winter season, please visit Austin Water Prepares for Winter at Water Treatment Plants |