During the winter months, temperatures can fall below freezing and could potentially cause water pipes to burst. There are several steps you can take to protect the pipes and hoses inside or outside your home from cold weather damage:
- Disconnect and drain garden hoses when they are not being used.
- Wrap exposed irrigation pipes with pipe insulation, insulated "faucet socks," an old towel, or heat or duct tape. These products can be found at your neighborhood building supply store.
- Insulate your irrigation backflow device by draping a towel over it and covering it with a bucket or other protective cover that touches the ground. Do not cover pipes completely to allow some air flow around them (air flow is necessary for the device to function properly).
- Set your thermostat to at least 55 degrees when you're away to protect indoor pipes and houseplants. Do not turn your heat off completely.
- Turn off the water valves to your washing machine to avoid flooding that could result from burst hoses.
- You do not need to leave interior or exterior faucets and pipes dripping. Valley temperatures generally don't drop low enough for a long enough period of time to warrant it.
In the case of a broken pipe, locate your water shut-off valve. Know how to turn off your irrigation backflow device as well. Follow the instructions below to turn off your water, so you can minimize damage from leaks or burst water lines.
Turning off irrigation water:
- The irrigation controller or clock has an "off" or "rain" position. The system will shut off electrically when the dial is turned to the "off" or "rain" position.
- To turn water off at the source, locate the main emergency cut-off valve for your sprinkler system. This will turn off the sprinkler system while still maintaining water service to your home. You may need to turn the valve with a wrench or pliers.
Turning off water at the backflow device:
- Your backflow device is usually located within or just outside your garage.
- The backflow device has two handles that appear as T-shape levers. Rotate either of the handles in a clockwise direction, using a wrench. This should shut the water off and allow you to repair the backflow device or broken pipe. You can utilize a landscaper or plumber to perform the necessary repairs. The City is not responsible for making these repairs.
- There may be resistance in moving this handle. The device may have been in service a long time and the valves may never have been turned. If you're unable to turn the handle to shut off your water, you will have to shut off your water at the main meter.
Turning off water at the main water meter:
- This will shut off water both inside and outside your home.
- Locate the main water meter. Most meters can be found in the sidewalk in front of your home. The lid to the meter box should be stamped with the words "City of Henderson" or "Water." You will need a long-handled screw driver to lift the lid.
- Lift the lid. You will either see a meter with a handle or one that has two rings, one on each side of the meter. If you have a handle on your meter, simply turn the handle clockwise. This should shut off the water completely.
- If you have a meter with two rings, one on each side, pull the rings together so that it now appears as a circle with a hole in the middle. That should stop the water flow.
It is the homeowner’s responsibility for making repairs to burst water pipes, irrigation lines or backflow devices. The City of Henderson is not responsible for making these repairs. After you have made the necessary repairs, reverse the steps above to restore water service.