Protect your home's pipes during freezing temperatures

It's winter. That means, yes - even in the desert, temperatures can drop below freezing. So be sure to plan ahead in order to prevent pipes from freezing and the costly repairs associated with them.

Here are a few simple tips for preventing property damage and frozen pipes during freezing weather:

  • Wrap any exposed pipes outside or in unheated areas of your home with insulation (a towel, blanket, small rug, etc.)
  • Remove garden hoses from outside faucets
  • Cover vents around the foundation of your home
  • If you have a pool, set your timer for the pump to run between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. Running water won't freeze.
  • Turn off drip irrigation and sprinkler systems.
  • Know where your property owner's cut-off valve is located and how to use it. The valve is located adjacent to the water meter box.
  • 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.

What do I do if my pipes are frozen?

  • If you turn on your outside hose faucet and no water comes out, it's likely your pipes have frozen. Check with a neighbor to see if they have water coming out of their hose faucet.
  • If your pipes are frozen and are located in an area where they will get some sunshine they should thaw by mid-morning. If your pipes are frozen and are located in a shaded area it is likely that they will not thaw until after midday.
  • If you detect that your water pipes have frozen and burst, turn off the water at the main shut-off valve and contact a licensed plumbing professional.
  • Never try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame. Water damage is preferable to burning down your house.

To report a water emergency, contact Scottsdale Water customer service 24 hours a day at 480-312-5650.

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