How to Protect Outside Plumbing

Caulk around pipes where they enter the home. Close all foundation vents and fill vent openings with wood or Styrofoam™ blocks. Wrap outside faucets or hose bibs with insulation if you don’t have a separate outside valve to turn them off. Use molded foam-insulating covers which are available at hardware stores. Newspaper or rags (covered with plastic wrap) are another option.

How to Protect Inside Plumbing

Insulate pipes in unheated areas, such as attics, crawl spaces and basements. When below-freezing weather is forecasted, open cupboard doors in the kitchen and bathrooms. This allows these pipes to get more heat from inside your home. If you leave home for several days, put your furnace on a low setting. This may not prevent freezing pipes but it can help. Let a slight drip of water run when temperatures dip below freezing.

How to Thaw Frozen Pipes

Thaw plumbing lines safely with a hair dryer or heat lamp. Once the pipe has thawed, make sure to leave a little water running so the pipe doesn’t freeze again. Do not open the water meter box as it could increase the chance of freezing water at the meter.

What to Do if Pipes Break

Close your main water shut-off valve to your house. Turn off the water heater. Locate the dedicated shut-off valve on the cold water inlet. Repairing broken pipes on the customer’s side of the meter is the customer’s responsibility. Contact a plumber for repair work.[/vc_column_text]

Source: https://www.portland.gov/water/prepare-winter