Illinois American Water encouraging customers to prepare for cold weather

BELLEVILLE, Illinois (WMBD) – Before the freezing temperatures hit, Illinois American Water is encouraging homeowners to take action now to prevent water damage from frozen and burst pipes.

Tips also include frozen water meters, which can add costly repairs and replacement fees to homeowners, as well as headaches and unexpected expenses.

“We know cold weather will come soon enough, so now is the time for customers to take preventative measures to avoid frozen pipes and water meters. By preparing now, customers can avoid damaged piping inside and outside their homes, ”said Beth Matthews, vice president of operations.

Before temperatures drop below freezing, customers should:

  • Check sprinkler or irrigation systems. Make sure you’ve turned everything off and completely drained the systems.
  • Identify the freezing points of your home. Check your home for pipes in frost-prone areas such as crawl spaces, unheated rooms, basements, garages, and exterior walls.
  • Know the location of the main water shut-off valve. If a pipe freezes or bursts, turn off the water immediately.
  • Protect your pipes and water meters. Customers are advised to wrap insulation around exposed pipes or use electrical trace heating wires; Newspaper or cloth could work too. With external meters, keep the cover to the meter shaft tightly closed.

If temperatures stay below freezing, customers should:

  • Prevent pipes from freezing. Run a small trickle of water overnight to prevent the pipes from freezing. Consider collecting the water for later use, e.g. B. for watering house plants and more. The cost of a short-term trickle is much less than repairing a broken pipe.
  • Open the cabinet doors to reveal pipes. Opening cabinet doors exposes the pipes to warmer room temperatures to keep them from freezing.

When pipes freeze, customers should:

  • Shut off the water immediately. Do not try to thaw frozen pipes unless the water is turned off. Freezing can often lead to invisible cracks in pipes or connections.
  • Apply heat to the frozen pipe by warming the air around it or by applying heat directly to a pipe. Customers can use a hair dryer, space heating or hot water. Space heaters should not be left unattended and customers should avoid using kerosene heaters or open flames.
  • Once the pipes are thawed, the water should be slowly turned on and the pipes checked for cracks and leaks.
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