Water company shares tips about winterizing pipes


Staff Reports

Indiana American Water is helping customers prepare so they can keep their homes safe this winter.

With a little attention and basic maintenance, you can help prevent pipes and meters from freezing in your home.

Before the cold sets in:

Check sprinkler or irrigation systems. Make sure you’ve turned everything off and fully drained the system.

Identify your home’s freezing points. Check your home for pipes in areas that might be prone to freezing, such as crawl spaces, unheated rooms, basements, garages and exterior walls.

Know how to shut off your water. Locate your main water shut-off valve. Hang a tag on the valve so you can find it quickly in an emergency.

Protect your pipes. Where pipes are exposed to cold, wrap them with insulation or heat tape (even fabric or newspaper can help).

When temperatures stay below freezing:

Give pipes a helping hand. If pipes run through cabinets or vanities, open the doors to let warmer room temperatures flow in.

Keep water working. Keep water moving through the pipes by allowing a small trickle of water to run. The cost of the extra water is typically lower than the cost of repairing a broken pipe.

If your pipes do freeze:

Shut off the water immediately. Don’t attempt to thaw pipes without turning off the main shut-off valve.

Thaw pipes with warm air. Melt the frozen water in the pipe by warming the air around it. Be sure not to leave space heaters unattended and avoid the use of kerosene heaters or open flames.

Be careful turning the water back on. Once pipes are thawed, slowly turn the water back on and check pipes and joints for any cracks or leaks that might have been caused by freezing.

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