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Protect your home's pipes from freezing temps

Portland Water Bureau offers some tried and true precautions you can take at home to help keep your pipes from freezing in cold weather.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Freezing temperatures are on the way. As you prepare, don’t forget about your water pipes. Jaymee Cuti of the Portland Water Bureau has actions we can take on the inside and outside of our homes.

“A couple of things that people can do are wrap their outside faucets, also known as hose bibs with insulation,” she said. Cuti added if you don’t have any and can’t make it to the store to buy some, a solid do-it-yourself option is using newspaper or rags wrapped in plastic wrap around the faucet.

Credit: Jon Goodwin, KGW

In addition to covering those outdoor faucets, make sure you disconnect hoses. “Disconnect your outside hose so that water doesn't freeze and expand causing problems for you inside your home,” said Cuti.

Credit: Jon Goodwin, KGW

Inside, open cabinet doors underneath the kitchen sink and under any bathroom sink so heat from your home can warm up pipes. Leaving cold water on at a trickle helps keep water moving through pipes so they will be less likely to burst.

“If you do encounter a freeze in your pipes, this might be surprising, but try defrosting it with a hairdryer,” Cuti said. “That can work to warm things up.”

If a pipe does burst, do not call 911, instead of close the water main valve to your home if you’re able to, and contact your local water utility.

Credit: Portland Water Bureau