In case you haven't walked outside today or seen any of the social media streams dedicated to pictures of frozen things in Phoenix, the City has kindly made it official: It's freezing.
The National Weather Service issued a low temperature warning today, as temperatures in the metro Phoenix area are expected to drop into the low 20s tonight.
Because we're clearly not used to such phenomena, the warning spells out precautions that should be considered when it's cold. Namely, toss a sheet over your cacti (we've heard styrofoam cups also work) and don't leave your pets outside ... oh, and your water pipes might freeze.
Check out a few tips (for all of the above) after the jump ...
The following come from the state-issued warning, released this morning.
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Here are a few tips to help prevent water lines on private property from freezing:
- Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors.
- Close any inside valves that supply water to outdoor hose bibs.
- Open the outside hose bibs and allow the water to drain.
- Keep the outside valve open to allow any remaining water in the pipe to expand without causing the pipe to break.
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate near the pipes.
- Allow a faucet to drip slightly to minimize freezing.
- When you think about covering your plants, think about how to protect your water pipes, too.
- Insulate attic and roof pipes.
- Be aware that backflow preventers for irrigation systems can also be susceptible to freezing and may need special measures.
If a Faucet or Pipe Freezes:
- If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, leave the faucets on and call a plumber.
- Try thawing a frozen faucet with a hair dryer - if there is no standing water in the area.
- To thaw a frozen pipe, heat water on your stove, and soak towels in the hot water, then wrap the towels around the cold sections of pipe. Start out as close to the faucet as possible and make sure the faucet is turned on so that as the ice melts, the water can drip out. If you cannot locate where the pipe is frozen, call a plumber.
If a Pipe Breaks:
- Turn off the water to your house at the main shut-off valve.
- Call a plumber.
- Leave faucets open until all repairs have been completed.