Prior to the expected below freezing temperatures Toho Water Authority (Toho) would like to remind customers that, when temperatures reach levels of 32 degrees Fahrenheit and below, you should take precautions to prevent water pipes from freezing.

The temperature does not drop below freezing very often in Central Florida, but, when it does, the water in your home plumbing can expand and cause pipes to break. Even tiny cracks can release hundreds of gallons of water a day, which may cause your bill to increase and even could cause flooding and structural damage to your home.

To avoid a possible impacts or damage to your home, follow some of the recommended steps before the onset of cold weather:

  • Cover outdoor water valves and spigots when temperatures dip below 32 degrees. A fitted plastic cover can be found at most hardware and home improvement stores, but tape and cardboard wrapped around the spigot can be just as effective.
  • Wrap any exposed water pipes to insulates them against freezing and helps to prevent water waste by keeping the water in the pipes warmer.
  • Invest in a water heater blanket, available at most hardware and home improvement stores. This can also save water and help cut water and heating bills.
  • Turn off your irrigation system at the main control and open each valve until the entire system drains of water. After the system is drained, close each valve and leave the system shut off until you’re ready to use.
  • Open cabinet doors when temperatures dip below 32 degrees to expose pipes to heat.
  • Drip the faucet overnight in order to prevent freezing.  Please capture this water and use beneficially in other ways.
  • If you notice your pipes are frozen, shut off the water at your main shut off valve and allow the pipes to thaw. Once thawed, have a licensed plumber come out to assess the damage and make repairs.
  • Shut off your main water valve and turn on a faucet to allow all the water in the pipes to drain out if you are leaving the home for an extended period of time.