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Winterizing Tips 

Winter temperatures in Lake Tahoe dip below freezing and into single digits. Don’t wait for the damage and expense of frozen pipes. By taking a few precautions you can greatly reduce your risk of frozen and broken water pipes. 

Prepare Your Home For Winter

  • Disconnect and drain all outdoor hoses
  • Insulate exposed pipes or faucets
  • Seal holes and cracks in exterior walls, foundation, and around pipes
  • Turn off and drain irrigation systems
  • Find your home shut-off valve and shovel regularly throughout the winter
  • Find the fire hydrant closest to your home and shovel regularly throughout the winter
  • If you don’t have a home shut-off valve, consider installing one
  • Make sure South Tahoe Public Utility District has your current phone number in case we need to contact you in an emergency. To update your contact info, call 530-544-6474 or visit

Vacant Home

Before leaving town:

  • Turn off your home shut-off valve
  • Open indoor and outdoor faucets to drain pipes. Remember to close faucets once drained.
  • Open all bedroom, bathroom, and closet doors, and cabinet doors in the kitchen and bathroom
  • Keep thermostat at 65 degrees (as recommended by the Insurance Information Institute)

Frozen or Broken Pipes

If your pipes freeze:

  • Open a faucet near the frozen point
  • Wrap the frozen pipe with a towel
  • Repeatedly pour hot water over the towel

If your pipes break:

  • Turn off the water at your home shut-off valve. If you cannot turn the water off, call 530-544-6474 for help 24 hours a day. There is a minimum $75.00 fee for water on/off. If you have a water leak over 500 GPH and the District is unable to reach you, we may send staff out to shut off the water. Any water shut-off will incur a minimum $75.00 fee.

Winterize Irrigation System

Protect your irrigation system this winter by winterizing early and properly.

Adopt a Fire Hydrant

With over 2,000 fire hydrants in South Lake Tahoe, it’s a lot of work to keep them clear. Adopting a hydrant close to your home or business and keeping it clear of snow and debris allows firefighters to quickly respond to an emergency. To adopt a hydrant, clear a three-foot space around the hydrant and to the road's edge.