As winter weather approaches, the City of Fort Worth is telling residents and businesses to take steps to keep their water pipes from freezing and possibly bursting over this coming weekend.
According to the City of Fort Worth, these tips can help:
- Make sure all outside pipes are insulated.
- Check to see that pipes in unheated parts of your home or business (including crawl and attic spaces, under cabinets) are insulated.
- Make sure outside faucet washers are secure.
- Keep the lid on the meter box to better insulate it from freezing.
- Turn off or unplug your irrigation system during the winter to prevent ice on sidewalks or streets. Drain the lines to prevent them from freezing and bursting. Use a licensed irrigator if you cannot do this yourself.
- Commercial buildings with fire sprinklers should leave the heat on overnight and on weekends when subfreezing temperatures are forecast.
- For residences, make sure everyone in the household knows where the main water shutoff valve is in case a pipe breaks and it is necessary to turn the water off in a hurry. Check this valve now to make sure it is working.
- If you must leave your house vacant for a long period, turn off your water supply at the valve on the resident's side of the meter box and have a plumber do the necessary work to prepare pipes to prevent damage.
- During prolonged freezes, you may want to open all cabinet doors that contain water pipes to allow heat to enter the areas. Relocate any toxic materials so children and pets cannot get to them if cabinet doors are left open.
- Keep extra water on hand during freezing weather in case a main break or frozen pipe cuts off your water supply.
Fort Worth officials said if a resident has no water and thinks it may be because of a frozen pipe, it is safest to call a plumber to handle the problem. The pipe may be cracked and will burst when thawed, and using an electrical appliance to heat the pipe could cause the pipe to burst, creating the risk of electrocution.
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If someone suspects a water main is broken, report the location immediately by calling 817-392-4477 or by using the MyFW app so it can be repaired as soon as possible.
Signs of a broken water main are water running down the street and buckled pavement, the city said.
Residents should not assume that their neighbor has called and should not use email or social media to report main breaks. These are not constantly monitored, and this could cause a delayed response, the city said.