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VERIFY: Why you should not shut your water off to protect your pipes during freeze

No one wants to deal with something like pipes bursting, but should you shut them off completely to avoid this?

With temperatures dropping below freezing in the days ahead, protecting your pipes is probably top of mind.

It's not something we have to deal with very often in Houston.

No one wants to deal with something like pipes bursting, but should you shut them off completely to avoid this?

Our VERIFY team decided to take a closer look. We got answers from the Red Cross and a plumber who says you actually want to keep your pipes open and leave the valves open.

RELATED: Weather timeline: Houston will have extreme cold and temperatures could drop below 20; ice also possible

RELATED: Protecting pipes prevents problems from popping up during cold snap

So, what should you do instead?

  • Protect your outdoor pipes with insulation
  • The Red Cross says leave your kitchen cabinets open which allows warm air to circulate around pipes under a sink.
  • Also, let your faucet drip to keep your pipes from rupturing. Plumbers say drip both the hot and cold sides. 
  • If you were to shut it off you'd have to drain it completely and you would have to use a professional tool to get all the water out.

In conclusion, we can verify that this is mostly false. Don't turn off your water, unless you're prepared to fully drain your pipes.

Experts say there's a lot better and even cheaper ways to keep your pipes from bursting.