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Preparing for Frozen Pipes as Winter Makes its Way to Dallas

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Frozen pipes can become a problem when temperatures drop. | Image by Cha giá José on Flickr

With temperatures predicted to tank in the coming weeks as winter nears, it’s probably a good idea before they dip to get your home ready for freezing temperatures.

The Texas State Board of Plumbing ExaminersDave Yelovish suggests the following tips to keep the pipes from your attic to your curb from freezing.

  • If you have exposed pipes in your attic, go to any big box hardware store and get pipe insulation to cover any exposed pipes you have.
  • If you lose power for several days, you want to keep your home as warm as possible.
  • If you have a fireplace, you’ll want to use it. However, if not, keep your home as warm as possible by reducing the number of times you open and close doors.
  • When the temperature dips below thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll want to allow your indoor faucets to drip. Turn on both hot and cold-water valves and open the cabinets where your pipes are located for the indoor heat to get them.
  • If freezing temperatures last more than 24 hours, to save money and water, you can turn on both the cold and hot water valves periodically to make sure the water keeps flowing.
  • As far as your outside faucets, getting Styrofoam boxes from the hardware store will work well to keep them from freezing up. If stores run out of them, simply get a towel, wrap it around the faucet, and secure it with duct tape.
  • Underground sprinkler systems usually don’t freeze since it takes days for dirt to freeze. Still, if your sprinkler system pipes are above ground next to your house, you want to insulate the pipes, shut off the valve and drain the remaining water out of the line to give any water that remains room to expand.
  • If you can’t get to the pipes in your attic or feel it’s best to shut the water off, you’ll want to shut off the main water valve, usually found in your yard close to the street, then turn on all your water sources and hose bibs to drain water in the line.
  • If your pipes do freeze, being in Texas, they will thaw out eventually. Be careful because frozen water caught in the line and turning on the water could cause the pipe to burst. Shut off the water at the main water valve and let mother nature naturally warm your home. Let it warm your home before turning the water back on if you have heat.

For more information or if you need help filing an insurance claim, contact the Texas Department of Insurance at tdi.texas.gov or call 1-800-252-3439.

 

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