Ask Arlington: Protecting Your Residence from Water Damage During Freezing Temperatures
By Office of Communication
Posted on February 01, 2022, February 01, 2022

Preparing for freezing temperatures in North Texas means more than stocking the fridge and digging out your heavy coat. With the potential for freezing temperatures for the week of January 31, 2022, the Arlington Public Works and Transportation Department continues to implement the following Winter Storm Public Works preparations:

  • Street crews started salt brine operations on Monday, January 31, to spray priority and secondary locations and will be done by 5pm today.
  • 12-hour emergency response shifts will begin Wednesday evening and anticipate with the bitterly cold temperatures shifts to continue until Friday.
  • Crews are preparing sanding units, snowplows, motor graders and all required equipment for sanding operations.
  • Traffic Operations crews are preparing for potential electrical outages by ensuring all generators are ready for deployment to keep key signals operational and preparing temporary stop signs to cover additional intersections to keep the public safe.

In the latest Ask Arlington, Arlington Water Utilities Director Craig Cummings provides residents tips on how you can avoid costly repairs and unnecessary water loss during and after freezing conditions.

How do I prevent the pipes from freezing in my house or apartment?

Cummings: “Frozen pipes aren’t just inconvenient; they can cause thousands of dollars in property damage when the expanding water causes pipes to burst. If temperatures dip below freezing, it’s a good idea to keep water moving through your pipes. You can do that by leaving a few faucets dripping throughout the inside of your home. You can also open cabinets doors under faucets in the kitchen or bathroom to expose uninsulated plumbing pipes to the warmth of your home – just remember to remove any dangerous cleaners you may have stored there if you have small children or pets. You’ll want to pay special attention to the plumbing located close to the exterior walls. You can also protect faucets outdoors by draining them and removing any hoses.”

How much water should be dripping from the indoor faucets?

Cummings: “A good trickle of water will be enough. That’s about the width of a single string of spaghetti. Having a few faucets dripping during a brief cold snap is unlikely to affect your water bill. A fast drip from several faucets in a home uses about 45 gallons of water per day. That’s similar to what you use while taking a single shower.”

What do I do if my pipes freeze?

Cummings: “If you suspect you’ve got a frozen pipe, check the other faucets in your home to see if it is throughout the home or just that location. Let them thaw naturally by exposing warmer air to the pipes. Never try to thaw pipes using hair dryers or other forms of heat. If you see water leaking from a burst pipe or suspect a break, you can call Arlington Water Utilities to request that a field operations staff person come to your home to shut your water off at the curb until a plumber can make repairs. Our emergency number is 817-459-5900. However, during a winter weather event, we encourage homeowners with a burst water pipe to shut their water off at the curb on their own, if they are able. Doing so can help limit property damage from the flowing water.”

The City of Arlington’s YouTube channel has videos in both English and Spanish to walk you through the process. You can also visit the Water Department website at for additional resources. 

You can read more tips on how you can avoid water damage and water loss this winter here

Click here to view additional tips to protect yourself, your pets, plants, and pipes.

Water faucet

Champion Great Neighborhoods, Ask Arlington, MyArlingtonTV
News, Headlines, Community, Water Utilities