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Freezing Weather Tips
December 20, 2022 at 9:30 AM
Frozen

It's rare, but sometimes in Austin and Marble Falls, freezing weather does occur. Generally, a few hours below freezing is not a problem, but if the temperatures don't go above freezing for several days, pipe freezing and breaks begin to occur. Here are some suggestions to help ensure the freezing weather outside doesn't result in any water issues in your home. 

Keep a close eye on your water bills.  Pipes can freeze under the home and may not be detectable because underground. A dramatic increase in the water bill may be the first indication of a water leak.

Do as many of these things as you can to help ensure there are no broken or leaking pipes as a result of the below freezing temperatures:

  1. Turn off the lawn sprinklers/irrigation
  2. Disconnect any garden hoses attached to exterior hose bibs
  3. Insulate exterior hose bibs and any exposed piping For additional guidance on this issue can you search on the web – also see this YouTube info. video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP4qZXD1tGM
  4. Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night as appropriate. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you may also prevent water pipes from freezing and bursting, inside and out.
  5. If not using hose bib insulation covers, suggest that you slow drip all exterior faucets (this is as simple as turning the faucet on just enough to see a drip every 10-15 seconds, but make sure the rags insulated aren't catching the water).
  6. Keep all cabinet doors under sinks open throughout so warm air circulates to those pipes, or at least at night when temperatures are lower.  
  7. Drip kitchen faucet (same as with outside hose bibs, turn the water on just enough to see a drip every 10-15 seconds, and adjusting the handle so the drip is coming from both the hot and cold water supply). 
  8. Throughout the freezing temperatures, every few hours, run the water at the interior faucet furthest away from the street for about a minute, using both hot and cold water.
  9. Also, run any interior faucets that are against an exterior wall for about a minute every few hours, using both hot and cold water. 
  10. If you are leaving your home (travelling), turn off the water supply to your home (and turn off your water heater's power/gas). Keep the heater turned on in your home, and do as above, leaving all the cabinet doors open so that warm air can more easily get to those pipes. After turning off the water to your home, turn on all faucets throughout to completely drain the water from the water supply pipes. Leave these faucets on, including the outside faucets (without covering them).

The City of Austin Utilities provides Cold Weather Tips to residents see https://www.austintexas.gov/department/cold-weather-tips-potential-freezing-weather

If you think there are any issues with the piping, please let us know, we are standing by and will do our best to help our customers as soon as possible!

We've provided these tips for informational purposes only, and ultimately the responsibility and liability lies with you. You may do all of these things and still encounter freezing pipes and/or water damage. Unfortunately, our insurance won't let us accept responsibility for that :)

Stay safe and warm!