Illinois American Water advises how to prevent damage from frozen
and burst pipes and meters
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[February 10, 2014]
BELLEVILLE — Illinois American
Water reminds homeowners to make preparations to prevent water
damage from frozen and burst pipes and water meters this winter.
While winter can pose many challenges to a homeowner, one of the
biggest and most costly is the risk of frozen pipes.
When temperatures fall:
If pipes are in an
area that makes them vulnerable to the cold, consider allowing a
small trickle of water from both your cold and hot water faucets
to run overnight to keep pipes from freezing. The cost of the
extra water is low compared with the cost to repair a broken
Open cabinet doors to expose pipes to
warmer room temperatures.
If your pipes freeze:
Shut off the water
immediately. Don't attempt to thaw frozen pipes unless the water
is shut off. Freezing can often cause unseen cracks in pipes or
joints that will leak when thawed.
Apply heat to the
frozen pipe by warming the air around it or by applying heat
directly to the 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.
To further help protect your pipes in cold winter weather,
keep these helpful tips in mind:
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.
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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
turnoff valve), and that the lines are disconnected and drained.
Drain and entirely
shut off 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
[Text from file received from
Illinois American Water]
Illinois American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water
(NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the
state, providing water or wastewater services to approximately 1.2
million people. American Water also operates a customer service
center in Alton and a quality control and research laboratory in
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 6,700 who provide
drinking water, wastewater and other related services to
approximately 14 million people in more than 30 states, as well as
parts of Canada. For more information, visit