We are fortunate in the Houston area that our winters are mild. However, we do experience a cold snap now and then and the following information may be helpful in preparing your home for freezing conditions. As a rule of thumb if the expected temperature falls below 26 degrees or stays below freezing for an extended period, freeze damage can occur to your pipes.
The 3 P’s for Freeze Prevention – Pipes, Plants & Pets
1. Protect your water pipes by:
a. Insulate any exposed outdoor pipes with insulating materials available at any hardware stores.
b. Disconnect hoses from outside faucets and cover faucet with an insulating styrofoam cap or wrap with a foam insulation tubes, towels etc and duct tape
c. Valve off sprinkler system and drain if possible. Also insulate any exposed piping on your sprinkler system.
d. Locate your homeowner’s cutoff valve where your water line enters your house. If you cannot find this valve or it is not working, contact a plumber and have it repaired or located, so that if you have a leak or broken pipe in your home, you will be able to turn your water off quickly.
e. If you are going to be away from your home during freezing weather, turn your water off at your homeowner’s cut-off valve and drain your faucets. If you cannot locate your house cut-off valve, contact Regional Water Corporation at 281-897-9100 and request a temporary turn-off at your water meter. Do not operate the valve at the water meter. This valve is only to be operated by authorized District representatives. If a major customer leak is found and no one is at home, MUD representatives will turn water off to prevent additional water damage to home or business and minimize the impact on your water bill.
f. Remember, if you drain your hot water heater, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and turn the electrical power or gas supply off so the unit does not overheat.
g. Do not let inside faucets drip. If everyone lets their faucets drip, this can place a burden on your water system, cause low pressure and defeat the purpose of dripping faucets in the first place.
2. Protect your pets against cold weather by bringing animals inside or put in garage.
3. Protect your plants by covering sensitive plants with blankets or sheets.