American Water Offers Tips to Keep Pipes from Freezing and Breaking
VOORHEES, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--November 13, 2013--
Now is the time to secure homes against freezing pipes, according to American Water, the nation’s largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility. Mark LeChevallier, Ph.D, director of Innovation and Environmental Stewardship for American Water, stresses that it’s important to make preparations to prevent water damage from frozen and burst pipes before temperatures plunge.
“Although the winter season can pose many challenges to a homeowner, one of the biggest and most costly is the risk of frozen pipes. When 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 the house,” LeChevallier said.
According to Dr. LeChevallier, winterizing is just as important for homeowners in parts of the country that experience only periodic freezes as it is for those in traditional cold weather states, since home construction in southern locations will sometimes include pipes in unprotected locations without insulation, including crawl spaces, and these can be particularly at risk.
Luckily, all these problems are preventable by evaluating areas of vulnerability throughout the home. Implementing the following winterization tips now can help avoid headaches — and repair bills — later:
-- 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. -- Drain any hoses and air conditioner pipes, and check for excess water pooled in equipment. If your home is heated by a hot-water radiator, bleed the valves by opening them slightly. Close them when water appears. -- Search your house for uninsulated pipes, especially in unheated areas. Protect exposed pipes by wrapping them with heat tape (follow manufacturers' instructions carefully to avoid a fire hazard), premolded foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation, available at hardware stores. If you've already installed heat tape on exposed pipes, inspect the tape for cracks or fraying and make any needed repairs. -- Clean out gutters and downspouts to remove debris that can freeze and cause clogs during cold weather. -- Seal cracks and holes in outside walls and foundations, particularly where cable TV or phone lines enter the house, using caulking to keep cold winds away from pipes. -- Add extra insulation to the attic to prevent warm air from creeping into your roof, causing ice damage to the roof and gutters. -- Set the thermostat at 55 degrees if you're going out of town. Although a lower temperate might be fine, this setting is considered to be safe to prevent pipe from damage. -- Consider wrapping your water heater in an insulation blanket. While the heater is not really at danger for freezing, this practice can lower your heating bills.
Founded in 1886, American Water (NYSE: AWK) 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 dedicated professionals 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. More information can be found at www.amwater.com.
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CONTACT: American Water
Denise Venuti Free, 856-309-4690
SOURCE: American Water Copyright Business Wire 2013
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