HERSHEY, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–With fall temperatures still around, Pennsylvania American Water today
advised homeowners to prepare now to prevent frozen and damaged
household pipes that can occur with the impending winter weather.
“If we experience more frigid, near-zero temperatures like we had in
recent winters, it’s important for customers to realize that these harsh
conditions can cause pipes in vulnerable areas to freeze, burst and
result in costly damage,” said Jimmy Sheridan, vice president of
operations for Pennsylvania American Water. “By taking the proper
preventive steps, customers can avoid worrying about frozen pipes and
expensive repairs to damaged plumbing inside and outside of the home.”
Property owners are responsible for maintenance of the water service
line from the curb to the house, as well as any in-home piping.
Pennsylvania American Water encourages residents to take the following
precautions to reduce the risk of freezing and bursting pipes:
Before frigid weather sets in:
Know what areas of your home, such as basements, crawl spaces,
unheated rooms and outside walls, are most vulnerable to 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
don’t disturb it.
When temperatures are consistently at or below freezing:
If you have pipes that are vulnerable to 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 expensive repairs for a broken pipe.
Also, open cabinet doors to expose pipes to warmer room temperatures to
help keep them from freezing.
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.
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
Report Leaking Pipes
Pennsylvania American Water also advises that sub-freezing temperatures
can hasten aging water mains to break and cause unsafe driving
conditions. If you see a leak, or your water service is disrupted,
please contact the company’s 24×7 customer service center at
Pennsylvania American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK),
is the largest water utility in the state, providing high-quality and
reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.2 million
people. Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest and most
geographically diverse publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility
company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs
approximately 6,800 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water,
wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people
in 47 states and parts of Canada.
Pennsylvania American Water
T: 610-670-7789 ext. 1009