Cold Weather Preparation - Drip Your faucets!

Posted by City Hall on Dec 22, 2022

How To Prepare Your Home For Winter Weather!

At any time, unpredictable weather can sneak up on you and wreak havoc on unprepared water pipes. Icy winds and dipping temperature can do a lot of damage to your home by freezing pipes and leaving you without flowing water. There are many precautions you can take now to help minimize later impacts.

During Freezing Weather

  • Open cupboard doors under sinks, especially where plumbing is in outside walls, to let interior heat warm the pipes.
  • Temporarily, keep a steady drip of cold water at an inside faucet farthest from the meter. This keeps water moving, making it less likely to freeze.
  • Be a good neighbor. If a neighbor is away or you are next to a vacant house, notify Public Works if you see a suspected leak.
  • Check on the elderly and make sure they’re OK.

If Your Pipes Freeze

  • Try and determine which pipe(s) are frozen. If some faucets work but others don’t, that means pipes inside your home are frozen.
  • If a pipe is frozen, assume it may be broken and will leak when thawed. Local hardware or home improvement stores may carry leak repair supplies. Be ready to shut off your water in a hurry when the line thaws.
  • If there is no water at all to your home, the problem may be at the street. Call Non-Emergency at (503) 397-1521.
  • NEVER thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame. You may start a fire and at the very least, your pipe will burst. Use hot air from a hair dryer or the exhaust from a vacuum cleaner.
  • If your pipes are frozen, contact Public Works so we can ensure that water is flowing from your meter correctly. However, our crews are not able to help fix frozen pipes between the water meter and the house and inside the house.

If A Pipe Breaks

  • Determine if it’s hot or cold water:

    • If it’s hot water: Turn off the water to your water heater. Cold water should still be available to the rest of your house.
    • If it’s cold water: Turn off the main water shutoff valve. Water will not be available to the rest of your house.
  • Call a plumber to assist you with repairs and get your water in working order.