Protecting Your Home
Prior to Freezing Weather
- Locate your water shutoff and make sure it works. Find your house’s water main shutoff valve and turn it on and off to ensure it works. Keep it accessible and clear of obstacles. Shutoff valves are usually found on the perimeter of the house, often between the garage and laundry room. If you cannot find your shutoff valve or if it is damaged, a second shutoff valve is located in your meter box at the curb.
- Insulate exposed pipes. Insulate pipes in unheated and drafty areas, such as an attic or garage. Hardware and plumbing supply stores carry insulation to help keep pipes from freezing. Also, check manufacturer recommendations for your water heater.
- Prepare outside faucets. Remove all connected hoses and wrap faucets with towels or install Styrofoam insulators.
- Drain and winterize your irrigation backflow preventer. Find out how here.
- Prepare before leaving town. If you plan to be away during the freeze, turn your water off at the house shutoff valve, open faucets to drain water, open cabinets below all sinks, and set your thermostat to 65 degrees or higher. Be sure you are signed up for unusual or high use alerts on WaterSmart. Have a neighbor ready to respond should you receive an alert. Woodlands Water can be reached at (855) H20-SAVE (436-7283) for emergencies.
During Freezing Weather
- Turn off water off at the shutoff valve at night. After doing so, run each faucet until water no longer flows out.
- Keep the thermostat at room temperature, day and night. Avoid turning down at night (the energy bill will be cheaper than repairing frozen pipes).
- Protect indoor faucets. Open cabinets beneath kitchen and bathroom sinks to allow warm air to circulate around pipes. Be sure to remove any toxic substances located in these cabinets if there are children or pets living in the residence.
- Do not isolate rooms by closing doors. This can make those areas much more likely to freeze.
- Keep garage doors closed.