HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Here in Houston, we don't usually get these hard freezes. So when they hit us, sometimes we're left a little unprepared. That's why plumbers in our area have been swamped the last couple days and getting a lot of calls about frozen pipes.
We have another hard freeze tonight. You probably don't want to have to shell out and call a plumber. So what should you do with those pipes? Whether they’ve already busted or if they’re still holding on just barely, Kenneth Borski, the division manager of plumbing inspections with the City of Houston, is on the Factor to give some advice.
IF A PIPE BURSTS
If a faucet is not running or toilet is not refilling, a pipe might have burst.
- Shut off water (see below). If you live in an apartment or don’t have access to the building’s water valve, contact your landlord.
- Call a plumber
- Start removing water to prevent mold
HOW TO SHUT OFF WATER TO A FIXTURE
If it is only one faucet, toilet or fixture that is not working, use the shut-off value for that fixture (usually a chrome-plated or plastic valve located directly under it). That allows you to stop the water supply at the fixture without shutting off water to the entire house.
HOW TO SHUT OFF WATER TO THE ENTIRE HOUSE
Water cut-off valves are located just outside the meter box, approximately one foot from where the front yard meets the street.
Lift the lid off the box and find the water meter. Next to the meter you will find the valve.
Turn the handle clockwise to shut off the valve.
If there is a water line break and the customer is unable to locate the shut-off valve, call 311.