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Tips to prepare for sub-freezing temperatures 

Tips to prepare for sub-freezing temperatures.

Templeton Community Services District encourages residents and businesses to review the following Freeze Alert Tips as sub-freezing temperatures occur throughout the winter months.

Take precautions to prevent water pipes from freezing when the temperature drops below freezing! Exposed pipe can freeze and burst when the air temperature reaches below freezing (32 degrees F).

Remember the saying – better safe than sorry.  Experts recommend keeping the thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid a costlier repair job if your pipes freeze and burst.

If you plan to be away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F. do not turn your heater off! This is very important for homes that have water lines in their ceilings.

A trickle of hot or cold water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing. Let water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children and/or pets. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.

How to thaw frozen pipes

If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, you may have a frozen pipe. If you suspect the pipes are frozen, be careful when thawing them out because if the pipe has already burst, the water will come flowing out and flood your home. You should turn off the water at the main shut-off valve in the house. This is usually at the water meter or where the main lines enter the house. (Make sure everyone in your family knows where the water shut-off valve is and how to open and close it.)

Never try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame. Water damage is preferable to burning down your house. You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe with the warm air from a hairdryer. It should go without saying but never use electrical appliances in areas of standing water because you could be electrocuted. Start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, working toward the coldest section of pipe. As you heat the frozen pipe and the ice plug begins to melt, you want the water to be able to flow through.

Running water through the pipe, as cold as it is, will help melt ice in the pipe. If your pipes do freeze, and water stops flowing from faucets, call a plumber immediately

If you are unable to shut off the water at the valve to your house, call Templeton CSD (or your local water purveyor) at (805) 434-4900 and a Utility Worker will respond and turn the water off at the meter.

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