your water meter and plumbing protected from the cold?
American Water offers tips to keep pipes and water meters from
freezing and breaking
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[January 07, 2013]
BELLEVILLE -- Illinois American Water
reminds homeowners that now is the time to make preparations to
prevent water damage from frozen and burst pipes and water meters,
before temperatures plunge. Acting now can prevent costly plumbing
repairs and frozen water meter replacement fees that can cause
headaches for homeowners.
According to Karla Olson Teasley, president of Illinois American
Water, although winter can pose many challenges to a homeowner, one
of the biggest and most costly is the risk of frozen pipes.
ice expands inside pipes, it can crack and burst the pipe, leaving
homeowners with a costly plumber bill and thousands of dollars in
damages from water leaking inside their home," she said.
During winter weather, water meters and pipes need special care
to keep them from freezing, so homeowners should take reasonable
precautions to help protect their property and the water company's
meter from damage.
"Weatherproofing your home against the cold will pay dividends on
energy bills in the winter and will also help protect your indoor
plumbing against the threat of breaks," Teasley added.
Illinois American Water encourages its customers to take the
following precautions to reduce the risk of frozen water meters and
pipes that can freeze and burst:
Make sure everyone
in your home knows where the main water shut-off valve is and
how to turn it off and on. If a pipe freezes or bursts, shut the
water off immediately.
Search your house
for uninsulated pipes, especially in unheated areas. Consider
wrapping pipes with electric heating tape, but follow
manufacturers' instructions carefully to avoid a fire hazard.
Seal cracks and
holes in outside walls and foundations with caulking, especially
where cable TV or phone lines enter the house, to keep cold
winds away from pipes.
If your home is
heated by a hot-water radiator, bleed the valves by opening them
slightly. Close them when water appears.
Make certain that
the water to your hose bibs is shut off inside your house (via a
turn-off valve) and that the lines are disconnected and drained.
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Drain and shut off
entirely the water to any unoccupied residence such as a summer
or vacation home. A loss of power during a winter storm could
cause pipes to freeze.
If you intend to
leave a property entirely without heat, be sure to drain all
water to prevent the possibility of frozen pipes.
Set the thermostat
at 55 degrees if you're going out of town. Although you may be
able to get away with a lower temperature, this setting is
considered to be safe for pipes.
your water heater in an insulation blanket. While the heater is
not really at danger for freezing, this can lower your heating
Illinois American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE:
AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state,
providing water or wastewater services to more than 1.2 million
people. American Water also operates a customer service center in
Alton and a quality control and research laboratory in Belleville.
Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S.
water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees,
N.J., the company employs more than 7,000 professionals who provide
drinking water, wastewater and other related services to
approximately 15 million people in more than 30 states, as well as
parts of Canada. For more information about the company, visit
[Text from file received from
Illinois American Water]