As spoiled as we are by our enviable winter weather here in the desert, we still need to be prepared to protect our homes' pipes on those cold nights when our overnight temps drop into the 30s.
Here are a few simple tips for preventing property damage during freezing weather.
Protect your pipes
- Wrap any exposed pipes outside or in unheated areas of your home with some type of temporary 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 shut off valve is located at the main hose faucet . It is the handle on the line going into the home, either 6 inches off the ground (gate valve – round handle) or along the water pipe (ball valve – narrow handle).
- Drip outside faucets 24 hours a day (5 drops per minute). 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. (Just to make sure there isn't an unlikely water outage in the neighborhood.)
- 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.