For Inside and Outside Your Home
VOORHEES, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As winter quickly approaches and temperatures continue to fall, New
Jersey American Water wants to remind homeowners to protect their pipes
from frigid winter weather to prevent costly plumbing repairs.
“The best strategy in combating the cold winter months is a proactive
one,” said Kevin Kirwan, vice president of Operations for New Jersey
American Water. “Taking certain preventive measures to winterize homes
and learning how to properly maintain and conserve resources,
particularly during the cold weather months, can help prevent pipes and
meters from freezing in your home and causing larger problems in the
New Jersey American Water encourages its customers to take the following
precautions to reduce
the risk of freezing pipes that can burst.
Preparing for cold weather
Make sure everyone in your home knows where the main water shut-off
valve is located so you can turn off the water in an emergency. When
you locate the valve, mark it with an identification tag. The valve is
typically located where the water line enters the home. This could be
in the basement, crawlspace, or utility closet.
Check for pipes that pass through unheated spaces or rooms, such as
crawlspaces, basements, garages, or uninsulated exterior walls.
Protect exposed pipes by wrapping them with heat tape, pre-molded foam
rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation, available at hardware stores.
If you have installed heat tape on exposed pipes, inspect the tape for
cracks or fraying and make any needed repairs.
If your water meter is outside, make sure your meter lid is closed
Eliminate sources of cold air near pipes by sealing openings or cracks
that could cause drafts. Close air vents in crawlspaces.
Drain all outdoor garden hoses, roll them up and store them inside to
prevent cracking. If you have an indoor valve for the outside
faucet(s), shut it off and drain water from pipes leading to the
- Turn off and drain your irrigation system.
When temperatures consistently fall below freezing
For kitchen or other sinks up against cold, exterior walls, open
cabinets to let warm air in your home reach the pipes.
Allow a small trickle of water to run overnight to keep pipes from
freezing. 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 frozen pipes unless the water is shut off.
Freezing can often cause unseen cracks in pipes or joints that will
leak when thawed.
Apply heat to a frozen pipe by warming the air around it. Avoid the
use of kerosene heaters or open flames.
Once the pipes have thawed, slowly turn the water back on and check
for cracks and leaks.
If you are going away
If you are going to be away, leave your thermostat at 55 degrees to
prevent freezing pipes. If your water meter is located in your home
and freezes, the homeowner/business is responsible for the cost to
replace or repair the meter.
Have a friend, relative or neighbor regularly check your property to
ensure that the heat is working and the pipes have not frozen.
A freeze alarm can also be purchased for less than $100 and will call
a user-selected phone number if the inside temperature drops below 45
If no one will be home for an extended period of time during extreme
winter weather, consider contacting New Jersey American Water at
800-272-1325 to turn your water off and hire a plumber to drain your
system. That way, if your furnace stops working, there will be no
water in your pipes to freeze.
Report Leaking Pipes
New Jersey American Water also advises that sub-freezing temperatures
can hasten aging water mains to break and cause unsafe driving
conditions. If you see a leak, or your water service is disrupted,
please contact the company’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-272-1325.
New Jersey American Water, a subsidiary of American Water, is the
largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing
high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to
approximately 2.7 million people. American Water (NYSE: AWK) is the
largest and most geographically diverse publicly traded U.S. water and
wastewater utility company. Marking its 130th anniversary this year, the
company employs 6,700 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and
market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an
estimated 15 million people in 47 states and Ontario, Canada. More
information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.