Simple, preventative measures can prevent frustrating and costly repairs later
CHARLESTON, W. Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With the onset of freezing temperatures this week and lows in the teens
and 20s forecasted into the weekend, West Virginia American Water is
advising homeowners to take simple steps to help prevent household pipes
“There are a number of simple and cost-effective ways our customers can
protect vulnerable areas of their homes to avoid frozen pipes that can
burst and result in costly damage,” said West Virginia American Water
President Brian Bruce. “Protecting your home against the
cold helps save on energy bills and safeguards your plumbing against the
threat of breaks.”
Property owners are responsible for maintenance of the water service
line from the curb to the house, as well as any in-home piping. West
Virginia American Water encourages residents to take the following
precautions to reduce the risk of freezing and bursting pipes:
Before the cold sets in:
Familiarize yourself with areas of your home most susceptible to
freezing, such as basements, crawl spaces, unheated rooms and exterior
Eliminate sources of cold air near water lines by repairing broken
windows, insulating walls, closing off crawl spaces and eliminating
drafts around doors.
Turn off and fully drain sprinklers and irrigation systems.
Protect your pipes by wrapping exposed pipes with insulation.
Locate your in home main water shut-off valve. Your December water
bill includes a tag
that you can hang on the valve so everyone in your home knows its
When temperatures are consistently at or below freezing:
Open cabinet doors to expose pipes to warmer room temperatures.
Keep water moving through pipes by allowing a small trickle of water
to run. The cost of the extra water is typically lower than the cost
to repair a broken pipe and remedy water damage.
Make sure the lid to your meter pit is closed tightly and report any
problems with the lid to the company’s customer service center at
Don’t shovel snow off of your meter pit lid – the accumulated snow
acts as additional insulation.
If your pipes freeze:
Shut off the water immediately at your in home main water shut-off
valve. Don’t attempt to thaw frozen pipes unless the water is shut
off, as freezing can often cause unseen cracks.
Apply heat to the frozen pipe by warming the air around it using a
hair dryer, space heater or hot water. Be sure not to leave space
Do not use kerosene heaters or open flames to thaw pipes inside your
Once the pipes have thawed, turn the water back on slowly and check
When you are away:
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 be purchased for less than $100 and will call a
user-selected phone number if the inside temperature drops below 45
Visit West Virginia American Water’s Facebook page (Facebook.com/wvamwater
to view a video with helpful winter preparedness tips and a
demonstration of wrapping pipes with insulation.
Help report water main breaks:
West Virginia 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 1-800-685-8660.
West Virginia American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE:
AWK), is the largest water utility in the state, providing high-quality
and reliable water services to approximately 550,000 people. Founded in
1886, American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and
wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 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
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