Update 1/15/24: Our amazing crews are working hard to respond to main breaks and an increasing number of requests for emergency water shut offs for customers with burst pipes. Downed trees and power lines might impact response times. Help our crews help you:
- Leave cabinets open and indoor faucets dripping until temps rise.
- Locate your emergency shut off valve now in case your pipes break.
- Store extra water now in case water service is disrupted by a main break or burst pipes at your home.
- Report potential water main breaks to our 24/7 emergency dispatch line: 503-823-4874.
With below freezing temperatures in the forecast, 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. You can help our crews by taking steps now to protect your own plumbing from freezing temperatures.
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 indoor faucets 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.
What to do if your pipes freeze
If no water is coming out of your faucets, 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. Be prepared to shut off your water if pipes break.
- Keep cabinet doors open to help keep pipes warm.
- If your pipes do freeze, thaw them with a hair dryer or heat lamp.
- Once the pipe has thawed, leave a little water running so the pipe doesn’t freeze again.