Austin Water offers tips for preparing pipes for severe winter weather

Winter weather: worth knowing

If there are severe winter weather in central Texas, here are a few things you need to know.

Given the harsh winter weather in central Texas this weekend, Austin Water offers residents the following tips to help prepare pipes and avoid property damage if there is frost.

Before the frost

  • Wrap any exposed pipes outside or in unheated areas of the house
  • Remove the garden hoses from the outside taps
  • Insulate the outside taps with a polystyrene cover, cloth or paper
  • Cover the vents around the foundation of your home
  • Know where your owner’s shut-off valve is and how to use it.
  • Before operation, apply oil such as WD-40 to the shut-off valve located under a 6-inch metal lid next to the water meter to prevent the valve from breaking

At minus temperatures

  • Let drip outside the taps 24 hours a day, about 5 drops per minute
  • Remove the covers on the outer spigot so that the water can drip onto the floor. If possible, continue to wrap the exposed part of the pipes that does not obstruct dripping. Drip taps are not required unless temperatures are expected to be 28 degrees or less for at least 4 hours. Make sure you turn off the taps after the threat of frost.
  • Open the cabinet doors under sinks next to the outside walls
  • In unheated garages, turn off the water to the washing machines, and water softeners should be drained and protected from freezing temperatures
  • If the weather persists, let the water slowly drip from the taps. If possible, collect this water to reuse for other purposes.
  • Take extra precautions to protect pipes that have frozen in the past.

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When you don’t wanna be home

  • Turn off the water at the owner’s stop valve
  • Drain all outdoor faucets and leave them open if your home is unoccupied for several days
  • Keep your home heating on low
  • Open the cabinet doors under sinks next to the outside walls
  • Tenants and tenants may be responsible for damage to personal property caused by broken water pipes during severe weather. Residents should contact property management / landlords or maintenance staff to find the owner’s stop valve and ways to avoid burst pipes during a freeze

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

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If a water line breaks and the shut-off valve does not work or the customer cannot find or operate the valve, Austin Water is available to turn off the water.

Anyone with additional information or assistance can call Austin Water’s 24-hour emergency helpline at 512-972-1000.

Morning weather forecast for February 13th

Chelsea Andrews has your prediction

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for central Texas stating that a major winter storm will spread across the area from Sunday afternoon through Monday morning.

The city of Austin, Travis County and community partners have enabled cold weather shelters. The city says that in the future, cold weather shelters will operate around the clock as long as conditions warrant. These accommodations are given the opportunity to stay during the day and the following nights. Those seeking protection on Saturday can go to the central library at 6 p.m. to be taken to the accommodations.

RELATED: Texas road crews continue to monitor driving conditions

Governor Greg Abbott issued a disaster statement for all 254 counties of Texas on Friday in response to the severe winter weather affecting the state.

Government funds are being used to support local response efforts, according to Abbott’s office. The Texas State Operations Center has also been contracted to expand its daily operations to 24 hours a day by the end of next week



Quickly track your local forecast for the Austin area with the free FOX 7 WAPP. The design gives you radar, hourly and 7 day weather information by simply scrolling. Our weather warnings will warn you early and help you stay safe during storms.

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