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Cold Enough to Freeze: Some Tips from AWU

The weather forecast says temperatures around Austin will dip into the 20's tonight. Austin Water Utility is reminding homeowners about the importance of protecting water pipes in such conditions. In a release today, the utility wrote:

Before Freezing Weather Wrap all exposed pipes located outside or in unheated 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. In Sub-Freezing Weather   Drip outside faucets 24 hours a day (5 drops per minute). This is not necessary unless temperatures are expected to be 28 degrees or below for at least 4 hours. (Be sure to turn off the faucets after the threat of freezing weather.) 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. In sustained sub-freezing weather, let water drip slowly from inside faucets. Take extra precautions to protect pipes that have frozen in the past. If You Are Not Going To Be 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). Or, leave home heating system on at a low setting. Open cabinet doors under sinks adjacent to outside walls.

Emily Donahue is a former grants writer for KUT. She previously served as news director and helped launch KUT’s news department in 2001.