With much colder weather across the state this week, Indiana American Water is urging customers to take action to secure homes and businesses against freezing pipes.
“With much of the state in the deep freeze over the next several days, we are encouraging
customers to act now to protect their plumbing system against the extreme cold,” said Indiana American Water President Matt Prine. “Failing to protect your plumbing from cold temperatures can be disruptive and very costly. When ice expands inside pipes, it can crack and burst them, leaving homeowners with a costly plumbing bill, and thousands of dollars in water damage.”
Luckily, these problems are preventable by evaluating areas of vulnerability and taking certain precautions. Implementing the following winterization tips now can help avoid headaches later:
● Search your house for uninsulated pipes, especially in unheated areas. Consider wrapping
pipes with foam insulation or electric heating tape, but follow manufacturer’s instructions
carefully to avoid a fire hazard.
● Check to make sure your garage door and crawl space doors/vents are closed.
● Leave cabinet doors open in kitchen and bathroom areas to allow warm air to circulate and consider letting a faucet drip to keep water moving through the pipes. If you
have young children, relocate any chemicals of cleaners that may have otherwise been out
of reach behind the cabinet doors.
● Seal cracks and holes in outside walls and foundations with caulking, especially where cable TV or phone lines enter the house, to keep cold air away from pipes.
● Make certain the water to your hose bibs is shut off inside your house (via a turnoff valve), the lines are drained, and the hose is disconnected from the spigot.
● 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.
● Set the thermostat at no lower than 55 degrees if you’re going out of town. Although you
may be able to get away with a lower temperature, this setting is generally considered to be safe for pipes.
● Make sure you know where your main water shut-off valve is in case you need to shut your water off it in an emergency situation.
● Consider wrapping your water heater in an insulation blanket. While not really at danger for freezing, this can lower your heating bills.