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Tips to keep pipes thawed this winter



tmwalogo-8402207-6741912Winter in the Truckee Meadows means freezing temperatures, which can lead to the expense and inconvenience of frozen water pipes. However, Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA) has provided some helpful instructions so customers can cross one more thing off their winter ‘To Do’ list.

  • Shut off and drain the irrigation system. It only takes a few minutes and can save hundreds of dollars in repair costs and water bills.
  • Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses. Detaching the hose allows water to drain from the pipe. Otherwise, the ice formed from a single, hard overnight freeze can burst either the pipe or its faucet.
  • Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas. If pipelines reside in an unheated garage or crawl space under the house, wrap the water pipes before temperatures plummet. Hardware or building supply stores will have appropriate pipe wrapping materials available.
  • Seal off access doors, air vents and cracks. Repair broken basement windows. Winter winds whistling through overlooked openings can quickly freeze exposed water pipes. Be careful not to plug air vents that the furnace or water heater need for safe operation.
  • Know the location of your master water shutoff valve. In many homes it’s where the water line enters the house from the street. If a pipe bursts anywhere in the house, this valve turns off all water and will prevent damage inside the home. So, find it now and paint it a bright color or hang a tag on it. Be sure everyone in the family knows where it is and what it does.
  • Always have a plumber’s telephone number handy just in case you discover a broken or frozen pipe.

In the event of a broken pipe, TMWA’s emergency answering service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (775) 834-8090. While there is a cost of $25 during business hours and $50 after-hours, they can dispatch a serviceman to perform an emergency shut off of your water service.  For more information about winterizing your home, visit www.tmh2o.com.

Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA) is a not-for-profit water utility, overseen by elected officials from Reno, Sparks and Washoe County. TMWA employs a highly skilled team who ensure the treatment, delivery and availability of high-quality drinking water around the clock for more than 330,000 residents of the Truckee Meadows.

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