More Tucson Water Winter Prep Tips

Protect water pipes and plumbing at your home or business:

  • Check your property for exposed pipes and plumbing that carry water (including outdoor faucets, bibs, and valves).
  • Use foam or wrap insulation to protect pipes from freezing. Inspect existing insulation, especially in areas exposed to elements.
  • Temporary insulation (towels, blankets, newspaper, etc.) is better than nothing.
  • Seal all areas that allow cold outside air to get in where pipes are located.
  • Newer homes may have poly piping in the attic; this may also need insulation.
  • Remove, drain, and store outdoor hoses inside.
  • Let cold water drip from a faucet during times of extremely frigid temperatures.

Protect your irrigation system:

  • Consult your owner/operator manual for how to winterize your irrigation system.
  • Insulate the main shut-off valve. If there is none, consider installing a shut-off valve as a preventive investment.
  • Insulate all above-ground lines and piping.
  • Consider shutting down automatic controller/timer and shutting off water supply to system. This may include draining remaining water and reprogramming operations.

Protect your backflow prevention assembly:

  • Use an insulation bag, covered enclosure, or pipe insulation wrap to protect the assembly.
  • Wrap blankets or towels around an assembly on cold nights for a temporary solution.
  • If a backflow prevention assembly is leaking, it likely has frozen. Contact your tester immediately for repair or replacement.

What to do if your water pipe has frozen:

  • Be patient. There is no quick remedy.
  • Any area that is exposed is the likely point where a freeze took place.
  • Pipes will need to gradually warm up. Blow warm air from a hair dryer or vacuum cleaner canister on the frozen section to begin warming. Wave the warm air back and forth. Keep a faucet in your home in the ‘on’ position during thawing to prevent a slug of water from going through and causing more damage.
  • Do not pour hot water over a frozen pipe or do anything that would cause a rapid rise in temperature. Do not use open flame or torches to thaw pipes.
  • If there is a burst or water is already leaking from plumbing, turn off the water at the main supply valve to the home or business.