Protect Pipes, Pets & Plants from Freezing Temperatures
With below-freezing temperatures expected overnight Wednesday, San Antonio Water System reminds homeowners and businesses in our area to be aware of the dangers of water pipes freezing or bursting in cold temperatures.
One of the most common hazards in San Antonio is freezing run-off from irrigation systems, so turn them off now before they become a liability. When water from spray irrigation systems run off onto sidewalks and roadways, the resulting black ice can cause major problems for drivers and pedestrians.
Plumbing is another issue SAWS would like you to keep in mind.
"While it rarely gets cold enough to cause harm to pipes in our area, it's important to know the steps you can take to help protect your pipes from freezing or bursting," said Anne Hayden, SAWS Communications Manager. "Investing a little time or money now can prevent costly plumbing repairs."
In very cold weather, ice begins to form in plumbing exposed to cold air. This can cause a blockage and excessive water pressure, ultimately causing the pipe to burst. Temperatures rarely drop low enough to cause plumbing to freeze or burst in this area, so many people are not aware of what they can do to help.
Seal openings where cold air can reach unprotected water pipes, like outside faucets. Cold winds can speed up the freezing process. Cover exposed pipes with foam or fiberglass insulation sleeves - the thicker the better.
In cases when there's no internal heat, or if there are extended freezing temperatures, leave cabinet doors open under the kitchen and bathroom sinks to allow warmer room air to circulate around pipes.
While not preferred, you can let faucets drip slowly to keep water flowing through the pipes. Ice might still form, but an open faucet allows water to escape. Note: If you choose this option, SAWS will not be able to credit your account for the excess water use.
Also, please be sure to bring inside or protect plants and pets from freezing temperatures. Wednesday's overnight low is forecast to be in the upper 20s.
See TCEQ Notice (pdf) for more details.
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