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How to Prep to Leave Town While It’s Freezing

If extreme cold weather approaches but you won’t be home, there are steps you can take to help protect your property before you leave town. Texas homes are not built for extreme cold, freezing temperatures, or snow. Here’s what our experts suggest you can do as precautionary steps: 

1. Do NOT let your sinks “stream” water while you are gone. This precautionary step is only for when you are home. Dripping faucet water or “streaming” it should only be when someone is present during a freeze.

2. To avoid water freezing in pipes, you can shut off your water. First, locate the water shut-off point. Typically, on the edge of your home’s foundation or near the street. Then, look for a ground cover about 12″ x 24″, remove the lid and turn the handle to shut off the water.

3. If you shut off the water to your home, be sure to release all the remaining water in the house. You can do this by going to your all faucets and turn the water on until it stops flowing. Be sure to reattach your insulated outdoor faucet covers


4. Turn your water heater to pilot mode. There should be a round dial on your water heater and will be set at “A, B, or Hot” turn it to “Pilot” and if your dial doesn’t have a “Pilot” setting turn it to “VAC” or “VACATION”.

5. If you have a sprinkler system, it doesn’t hurt to turn it off. If you don’t plan on turning off your water, then you should turn off the sprinkler system

6. If you don’t plan on shutting off your water keep your heater between 72-78 degrees. This will help your pipes stay warm. If you do turn off your water, the furnace can stay at 65 degrees.

7. If you have a pool, before you leave, decide on any pool preparations. Preparations often include setting the pool pump system to run consistently through the freeze. Also, ensure your pool is clean and the skinner baskets are empty. For additional tips, we suggest consulting your local pool maintenance.

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