AUSTIN -- Freezing temperatures are in the forecast for Thursday night. Water officials have offered a few tips on how to keep your property safe from frozen or broken water pipes.

Before the weather freezes, you should:

  • Wrap all exposed pipes located outside or in un-heated areas of the home.
  • Remove garden hoses from outside faucets.
  • Cover vents around the foundation of your home.
  • 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 under a 6 metal lid.
  • Turn off irrigation systems during the winter months to protect pipes and conserve water.

When the weather freezes:

  • Open cabinet doors under sinks adjacent to outside walls.
  • In unheated garages, shut off water to washing machines. Water softeners should be drained and protected from freezing temperatures.
  • If temperatures are expected to be 28 degrees or below for at least 4 hours, drip outside faucets 24 hours a day (5 drops per minute). Be sure to turn off the faucets after the threat of freezing weather.
  • In sustained sub-freezing weather, let water drip slowly from inside faucets.
  • Take extra precautions to protect pipes that have frozen in the past.

Tips for when you are not at home:

  • Shut water off at the property owner s cut-off valve.
  • Drain all outside water faucets if your house will be unoccupied for several days (leave outside faucets open).
  • Leave home heating system on at a low setting.
  • Open cabinet doors under sinks adjacent to outside walls.

AustinWater officials said many people who rent could be responsible for property damage caused by broken pipes. You should contact those in charge of the property for assistance.

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