Illinois American Water reminds homeowners of steps to take to prevent
water damage from frozen and burst pipes. Tips also address frozen water
meters, which can bring costly plumbing repairs and replacement fees
along with headaches and unexpected expense for homeowners.
“We are facing frigid temps across the state, which can cause pipes in
vulnerable areas to freeze and burst, resulting in costly damage,” said
Mike Smyth, vice president of operations. “By simply running a
pencil-thin stream of water overnight, customers can avoid frozen pipes
and water meters.”
Illinois American Water encourages residents to take the following
precautions when temperatures are consistently at or below freezing:
Allow a small trickle of water to run overnight to keep pipes from
freezing. The cost of the extra water is low compared to the cost to
repair a broken pipe. Illinois American Water also encourages
customers to capture the water for wise water use. The water can be
used to water indoor plants and more.
Open cabinet doors to expose pipes to warmer room temperatures to help
keep them from freezing.
Eliminate sources of cold air near water lines by repairing broken
windows, insulating walls, closing off crawl spaces and eliminating
drafts near doors.
Know the location of your main water shut-off valve. If a pipe freezes
or bursts, shut the water off immediately.
Protect your pipes and water meter. Wrap exposed pipes with insulation
or use electrical heat tracing wire; newspaper or fabric might also
work. For outside meters, keep the lid to the meter pit closed tightly
and let any snow that falls cover it. Snow acts as insulation so do
not disturb it.
If your pipes freeze:
Shut off the water immediately. Do not attempt to thaw frozen pipes
unless the water is shut off. Freezing can often cause unseen cracks
in pipes or joints.
Apply heat to the frozen pipe by warming the air around it, or by
applying heat directly to a pipe. You can use a hair dryer, space
heater or hot water. Be sure not to leave space heaters unattended,
and avoid the use of kerosene heaters or open flames.
Once the pipes have thawed, turn the water back on slowly and check
for cracks and leaks.
When you are away:
Have a friend, relative or neighbor regularly check your property to
ensure that the heat is working and the pipes have not frozen.
Also, a freeze alarm can be purchased for less than $100 and will call
a user-selected phone number if the inside temperature drops below 45
Illinois American Water also advises that sub-freezing temperatures can
cause aging water mains to break and cause water to cover roadways. If
you see a leak, your water service is disrupted or you experience low
pressure, please contact the company’s 24/7 customer service center at
800-422-2782 to report an emergency. For general inquiries, call between
7 a.m. to 7 p.m. More tips can be found at www.illinoisamwater.com
in our online learning center.
About Illinois American Water - Illinois American Water, a
subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned
water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water
and/or wastewater services to approximately 1.3 million people. American
Water also operates a customer service center in Alton and a quality
control and research laboratory in Belleville.
With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and
most geographically diverse U.S. publicly-traded water and wastewater
utility company. The company employs more than 7,100 dedicated
professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water,
wastewater and other related services to over 14 million people in 45
states and Ontario, Canada. American Water provides safe, clean,
affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we
keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit amwater.com
and follow American Water on Twitter,
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