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Texas Department of Insurance
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February 2, 2022

Are your water pipes ready for winter?


Incoming freezing weather means it’s time to find those faucet covers, water shut-off wrenches, and get those pipes ready.

What should I first do to protect my pipes?

Insulate pipes in your attic. The No. 1 place where pipes froze last winter was in the attic. You can buy pipe insulation from a home improvement store and do it yourself.

Should I drip my faucets to prevent frozen pipes?

You can run water through your indoor faucets – hot and cold -- before you go to sleep. Or you can let faucets drip from the cold and hot taps. Be sure to follow your local government’s instructions, which may limit water use.

How do I protect the pipes on the outside of my house?

You don’t want to drip outside faucets. But you should insulate them. If you don’t have a faucet cover, wrap a towel and some tape around the faucet.

Should I turn off the water to the house?

If you can’t insulate your pipes, you might want to turn off the water. Your home’s water shut-off is probably near the street in a concrete or plastic box in the ground.

After the water is off, turn on the hoses outside and the faucets inside to drain the pipes. If the pipes freeze, at least they won’t have water in them to spill out.

If my pipes do burst, will my homeowners insurance pay for repairs?

Most insurance pays for “sudden and accidental” damage. Frozen pipes and broken appliance hoses are common examples.