The Portland Water Bureau is staffed and ready to respond to weather-related main breaks and service disruptions, and we will respond as quickly as we can while putting safety first. But we can't do it all, especially when it comes to the water that's moved into the pipes of your home.
Prevent frozen pipes
To keep the water flowing, and protect your property from water damage due to frozen or busted pipes, take the following steps:
- Note the location of all shut-off valves, so you’re ready to turn off the water quickly if a pipe inside your home breaks. If pipes break, make sure to turn off your water heater, too, to prevent it from pulling water into a pipe that's already leaking or broken.
- Wrap outdoor faucets and hose bibs in newspapers, rags, or hose bib/faucet covers.
- Open the cupboards under your sinks so pipes get more heat.
- Let it drip: If temperatures dip below freezing, leave a slight drip of cold water to prevent water and pipes from freezing.
- Help us help you: If you see the ground buckle with water coming up from the street or sidewalk, it could be a main break. Report it to our 24-hour Emergency Line at 503-823-4874 option 1.
No water coming out of your faucet?
During this historic cold event, many people woke up on Thursday morning (12/22/2022) and when they turned on their faucets, no water came out. If this happened to you, this could mean your pipes are already frozen. Here are some steps you can take to defrost those pipes:
- Caution! Frozen pipes can break or leak.
- Keep cabinet doors open to help keep pipes warm.
- If your pipes do freeze, thaw them with a hair dryer or heat lamp.