Many people are currently dealing with frozen or broken pipes. Concerns of pipes bursting will only heighten as the temperature rises and pipes begin to thaw out. You must take action!

• How do I know I have frozen pipe? If you open a faucet (hot or cold) and no water comes out, you have a frozen water pipe. This includes outside water faucets.

• If you have any pipes that are frozen (outside water faucets included), you must take immediate action!

• Plumbing companies are already booked with frozen/broken water line calls. Currently, response times for repairs are days and even weeks!

Here are the immediate steps you must take if you have or "think" you have a frozen pipe:

1) You must turn off the water to the house. Why? While the pipe is frozen, typically, the water won’t leak out. However, once the pipe thaws, water will start leaking into the house. Like plumbers, water cleanup companies are severely backlogged.

2) Before you turn off the water, fill all the containers you have and fill your bathtub. This will give you water to fill the tank on the toilet so you can flush it.

3) Most houses have two shut offs, one close to the house or right next to the main city water meter. The main city water meter is typically the round heavy metal lid you’ve seen at the street.

4) If you don’t know where the city cutoff is, you can use Google maps, use street view, and you may be able to zoom in and see it. It’s usually out by the street, on either side of the property.

5) If you still can’t locate the cutoff or have trouble turning it off, try asking your neighbor for help. “This might be your best option as utility providers are seriously backed up.”

6) If you still can’t locate the cutoff or can’t turn it off, call your water provider for instruction and assistance.

7) Once water is off, open the lowest faucets (hot and cold) in the house (usually this is the bathtub) and “drain the house.”

8) Turn in a maintenance request through your portal. There is no need to call the emergency line to tell us about the work order. We are monitoring incoming work orders and will respond to you with a text message.

9) Work orders are being processed based on the severity of the issue.

Note: As you know, this is an unprecedented disaster. Getting you taken care of as quickly as possible is our first priority.

• In some cases, the “repair” will only be capping the broken line. This will allow the plumber to get to the next person quickly. We will then come back and repair the pipe at a later time. This means you may not have water (hot or cold) in some sections of your home.

• We ask for your patience as we are all in this situation. Keep in mind that response times are going to be long. Our experience from the last freeze of this magnitude in Austin was response times were many days and even weeks.

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