HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The cold weather can cause big problems for your sprinkler systems and swimming pools, but some simple steps can keep you trouble-free.
If you have a swimming pool, the big freeze can cause a big problem.
To get the pipes clear of ice, make sure your pump is running through the night when temperatures fall below freezing.
"Most folks leave the pump running anyways," said Chris Castro with Abacus Plumbing. "If it stops out of nowhere, use the option to override it. Do that during a freeze so nothing actually bursts."
When it comes to irrigation systems, the cold temperatures can wreak havoc on pipes above and below the ground.
When not properly drained, water in your backflow valve can freeze and expand. If that happens, the housing will crack and you'll have a serious leak.
It only takes a few seconds to keep that problem from happening at your home.
"You just pull two valves, and then afterward, there is a little port on the side you can get to," Castro said. "Sometimes, they have little plugs on them. With a screwdriver, you can go ahead and drain the valve itself."
Repairing a backflow valve rupture can cost hundreds of dollars, and if dozens rupture across the city, you may have a hard time getting replacement parts.
These preventive measures take almost no time at all and will save you hundreds of dollars. Unfortunately, we almost see frozen sprinklers and damaged pools almost every time we get a serious freeze.