Cold weather is upon us in Illinois and Illinois American Water is advising homeowners to make sure their homes are prepared for winter weather.
last year’s harsh winter, we want to remind customers that sub-freezing
temperatures for an extended period can cause pipes in vulnerable areas to
and burst and result in costly damage,” said Illinois American Water President
Karla Olson Teasley. “By taking the proper preventive steps, customers can
worrying about frozen pipes and making expensive repairs to damaged plumbing
inside and outside of the home.”
are responsible for maintenance of the water service line from the curb to the
house, as well as any in-home piping. Illinois American Water encourages
residents to take the following precautions to reduce the risk of freezing and
weather sets in:
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 – follow manufacturer
instructions closely to avoid a fire hazard.
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.
Know which areas in your home, such as basements, crawl spaces,
unheated rooms and outside walls, are most vulnerable to freezing.
Eliminate cold air sources near water lines by repairing broken
windows, insulating walls, closing off crawl spaces and eliminating drafts near
temperatures are consistently at or below freezing:
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 to the cost to repair a
Customers should also consider a wise water use practice and collect the
running water for later use.
Open cabinet doors to expose pipes to warmer room temperatures to
help keep them from freezing, although be careful to not create a tripping
If your pipes
Shut your water off immediately. Don’t attempt to thaw frozen
pipes unless the water is shut off, as freezing can often cause unseen cracks
in pipes or joints.
heat to frozen pipe by warming the air around it or applying heat directly to
the pipe. You can use a hair dryer, space heater or hot water. Be sure to not
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.
If you are going
to be away from your home for more than a few days:
• 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 degrees.
In addition to
pipes indoors, customers can help protect their own and their neighbors’ homes
by keeping fire hydrants clear of snow. Substantial snow accumulations combined
the after-effects of plowing roads and parking lots can leave fire hydrants
partially or completely buried in snow. Clearing hydrants can help firefighters
easily locate them and access
water quickly, saving valuable time to possibly save lives and structures.
Also be sure
that your water service provider and other utility companies have the correct
phone number to reach you in an emergency. Illinois American Water
customers can manage
their account information online at My H2O Online. Customers
should also consider following their utility service providers on social media
as well, to get the latest updates on their computer
or smart phone. For more tips and information, visit http://www.amwater.com/ilaw/learning-center/wise-water-use.html or follow us at www.facebook.com/ilamwater and www.twitter.com/ilamwater
Illinois American Water
Illinois American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the
largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and
reliable water and/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 6,600 dedicated
professionals who provide drinking water,
wastewater and other related services to approximately 14 million people in
more than 40 states, as well as parts of Canada. More information can be found
by visiting www.amwater.com.